Lunges are an excellent exercise for strengthening your legs and buns, and also develop coordination and balance. There are lots of variations (rear, side, diagonal and even walking lunges) but start by mastering this basic stationary lunge first. Maintaining proper form during lunges is crucial to avoid any unnecessary strain.
How to: Start with feet together, hands at hips. Take a wide step back with your left foot, back heel lifted. Keeping your upper body straight, and abs tight, bend both knees about 90 degrees, without letting your back knee touch the floor [as shown]. Slowly extend your legs, pressing your body back up.
Form Tip: Your front knee should stay lined up over your ankle as you lower into your lunge, and your back knee should lower directly under your torso. Think of going up and down only with your body, not forward and back.
Make It Easier: Try holding onto a chair or wall with your opposite hand to help with balance. And if coming up and down out of your lunge feels too challenging, or tough on your knees, practice a static lunge by holding the bottom position for about 30 seconds.
Make It Harder: For more resistance, try holding onto weights as you lunge. For more of a balance challenge, try clasping your hands behind your head and as you rise up, shift your weight into your front leg, tapping your back foot lightly on the floor as you stand, and then repeat.