Ever since mankind learned to stand on two feet, we’ve been lunging – finding out how far our legs will stretch before toppling occurs. As an exercise it might not be the most glamorous, but its benefits are myriad, and the clock lunge would be a wise addition to any fitness routine.
The lunge is a very practical exercise, in that its benefits are felt in everyday life. Legs are the primary beneficiary, especially thigh muscles, while you’ll also be pleased by the improved rigidity of your derrière. Your core is engaged as it helps you keep your balance during the exercise.
Lunging also improves flexibility around the hips, something that’s particularly useful for men who spend eight hours a day sitting at a desk. Adding in the lateral lunge, which hits your inner thighs hard, and the backward lunge, increases these benefits, which really feel the squeeze. You also get a free mental workout chucked in to boot, as you test your willpower to exhaustion.
How To Do The Clock Lunge
Form is key to a good lunge. Keep your upper body straight as you move, with your chin up and your abs braced. Step forward and lower your hips until both knees are bent at right angles, with your front knee above your foot. Then push back up. That’s your basic lunge, and the first part of the clock lunge.
The second is a lateral lunge, where you move to the side, again keeping your upper body straight, and lower onto your leading leg. Round off a set by doing a backward lunge, where you mirror the movements of the forward lunge.
Do this all on your right leg, then on your left, only start with the back lunge on that side – you’re going round the clock, see? Then repeat, keeping your movements deliberate and focusing on good form. Do eight to ten sets on each leg, either as part of a wider workout, or by themselves in front of the TV in the evening.
If you’re really into the clock thing, you can add a lunge for every hour. Diagonal lunges. Whatever next!
If you’re not so committed to the timepiece, a more common way to make lunges harder is to hold dumbbells in each hand as you move, making your core work all the harder to keep you balanced.