Wake up your legs and make new strength gains with one of these variations.
Muscles are masters of adaptation: Once they get used to a movement, they stop getting stronger—and you stop seeing results. To prevent plateaus (and boredom), you need to keep changing your workout. An easy way to do it: Replace one of your go-to exercises with a new version. In this series, trainers share a few of their favorite fresh takes. Sub them into your routine to keep the results coming.
ORIGINAL MOVE: Lunge
BENEFITS: The lunge is an all-around, lower-body strengthener. Although it primarily targets the quads and glutes, this move also works the hamstrings and calves. What’s more, keeping your shoulders aligned over your hips as you lunge helps engage your core.
NEW MOVES: Multi-planar lunge (from Matt Delaney, a Tier X coach at Equinox Columbus Circle); TRX plyometric lunge into pistol squat (from Sam Rothermel, a group fitness instructor at Equinox’s New York locations); reverse lunge with prayer press (from Jenn Hogg, a former group fitness manager for Equinox Gold Coast)
Stand with feet together and hold a basketball (or weighted ball) close to your chest. Lunge forward with right leg as you extend arms in front of you, pushing the ball away from you. Step back to start position as you immediately pivot 90 degrees to the right, then lunge again. Continue, moving in a circle; then repeat, lunging with the left leg as you pivot on the right foot.
TRX Plyometric Lunge into Pistol Squat
Facing the anchor point of a TRX, hold a handle in each hand with palms facing down. Take a step back with the ball of the right foot and bend both knees to complete a reverse lunge. Spring off the ball of the right foot and sweep the left leg into hip flexion. End in a single leg squat on the left leg. Repeat motion for 30 seconds and then switch legs.
Reverse Lunge with Prayer Press
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, hands in front of chest, palms facing you, elbows out to sides. Lunge back with right leg as you press weights forward at shoulder level in front of you. Return to start; switch legs and repeat.