The major health benefits of lunges and how to do them effectively

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Lunges are a very beneficial exercise for your health.

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The benefits of lunges include a stronger lower body and core, as well as improved balance and flexibility.

In addition to basic forward lunges, there are many lunge modifications that can target specific leg or core muscles, such as curtsy lunges, reverse lunges, side lunges, and twist lunges.

To achieve the health benefits and reduce your risk for injury, it's important to do all your lunges with proper form.

This article was medically reviewed by Joey Thurman, CSCS, CPT, FNS, a Chicago-based fitness expert and MYX Fitness coach.

Visit Insider's Health Reference library for more advice.

A lunge is an excellent body-weight training exercise that can help you with your overall health and athletic performance. Specifically, lunges are a popular exercise because they can improve strength, flexibility, and balance.

Here's what you need to know to achieve the health benefits of lunges and do them with proper form.

Lunges strengthen major muscle groups

"Lunges work multiple larger muscle groups at the same time," says celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels, creator of The Jillian Michaels Fitness App. "They build lower body strength and help to maintain muscle mass and bone density in the lower body."

Lunges target the following muscle groups:

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In particular, a small study published in 2006 in ACE Fitness found that the forward lunge is one of the most effective exercises for working the hamstrings, gluteus maximus, and gluteus medius. The study found that the forward lunge activated these specific muscles more than body-weight squats, leg presses, and hip extensions.

Lunges can improve balance and flexibility

Lunges are lower body unilateral exercises, which means that they work one leg at a…
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