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.

 

The Lateral Lunge is an important exercise; it not only targets the gluteus maximus and hamstring muscles, as traditional lunges do, it also builds strength in your abductor and adductor (inner and outer thigh) muscles, which are often ignored.  

1) Start standing upright with your feet a few inches apart and your arms bent in front of your body. Keeping your left leg straight, step 2 to 3 feet out to the side with your right leg,  driving your hips back and lowering your body into a squat position until your right thigh is parallel to the floor.

2) You want to make sure you keep the weight in your heels and your head up and back straight throughout the exercise. It also helps to make sure you bring your elbows away from your body when you lunge, so you don’t round your spine forward.

3) Always keep your core engaged and your knees and toes pointing forward. If you take too big a step out to the side, you will not be able to successfully return to your starting position without compromising your form and potentially putting undo stress onto your knees.

4) Push off from your right heel, return to your starting position, and repeat on the other side.

5) Try 10 repetitions on each side, for a total of 20. Beginners, start with modification of the exercise from this video  until you are ready to advance.

Muscles Worked: Quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, adductor and abductor muscles, and erector spinae.

 

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