This is another post in our series of Fitness Saturday exercises and workouts appropriate to women in the second half of life. Personal trainer Brooke Marrone, president and founder of Brooke Marrone Fitness, in New York City, is our fitness guru.


Lunges are by far one of the best ways to tone your lower body. There are many variations of this exercise, the most popular being backward and forward lunges. Today’s exercise, the back lunge, is not only effective at targeting all of the major muscle groups in your legs, it also places less stress on the knee joints; It’s a great move for beginners to start with.

  • Start standing upright with your shoulders back, abs in and feet a few inches apart.
  • Take a big step back with your right leg, immediately bending both knees so that your front (left) leg is parallel to the floor and your right knee is bent so that it’s only a few inches away from the floor.
  • Make sure to look straight ahead and not lean your body forward when you step back. Keep your back straight and your hips under your shoulders. You can bend your arms in front of your body or place your hands on your hips.
  • Never allow your front knee to go over your toes. It helps if you keep the toes in your front foot up slightly in your shoe to make sure you are not shifting your weight forward and putting unnecessary strain on your knees.
  • Hold for a brief pause and push from your front heel to return to your starting position. Repeat other leg. Alternate x20.

Major muscles worked: hamstrings, quads, and glutes.


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