Why the lunge? There are a lot of good reasons why triathletes should include lunges in their exercise routine. A big one is that doing lunges on a regular basis will improve balance and stability. When running on snowy and slippery surfaces in winter, stabilizer muscles work harder and weak stabilizer muscles can lead to injury. Doing lunges will also engage the core, glutes, quads and hamstrings which are all essential for riding as well as running. Lateral lunges (where you lunge from side to side versus forwards) are one of the best ways to strengthen inner thighs. Weak inner thighs can lead to knee problems.
So going from your basic lunge, we have given three ways to upgrade it. All you need for these exercises is a med ball, a pair of dumbbell weights, a small space to do it and some time!
Lunge with bicep curl: You already know how to do the basic lunge. Keeping shoulders upright, place the hands on the hips, take a step forward lowering yourself into a lunge until the knee is at a 90 degree angle making sure the knee is directly above the foot and not over it. To make it more fun, add the basic bicep curl. With your handheld weights, curl them up towards the shoulders as you come down into the lunge. Come back up and repeat on the other side.
Rotate with med ball: This is your basic lunge done with the med ball. Hold the med ball in the centre of your body with both hands. Step forward with the left leg. As you come down into the lunge, slowly rotate your torso towards the right. Come back to centre. Repeat on the other side.
Add the dumbbells… This is perhaps the easiest way to make a lunge harder. All you have to do is hold weights in your hands as you do your lunges. When adding weight, pay attention to posture. Make sure to keep the shoulders back instead of letting them fall forward.