The classic inverted lunge is one of the best basic movements for training your legs. But if there’s a problem, it’s this: It doesn’t actually target your quads. Most functional leg movements like squats and deadlifts focus more on hamstrings and glutes than quads.
That’s all for good reason (you need strong glutes and hamstrings, and these muscle groups are sometimes neglected in your daily life). But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spend some time attacking your quads, especially if you have physical goals. And then you can benefit from mixing another inverted lunge, the two-way cup reverse lunge, from Men health Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, CSCS
Here you play with stride length with the express goal of targeting your quads. “If your knee moves in front of your foot and you need to get out of that position, you need to use your quads harder,”
You do this in the two-way cup backward lunge by playing with both standard backward lunges and backward lunges with closed posture to stimulate these quads. As you do this, says Samuel, be sure to write down your personal step. “Work in your mobility,” says Samuel. “You would love it if your back knee is on those little lunges near the back of your front foot, but if you can’t keep your front heel on the floor then don’t go that far.”
You’ll alternate between two types of lunges, which means you’ll crush quads but also get plenty of classic hamstring and glutes work. “This is a perfect day leg finisher,” says Samuel.
You can do this with a dumbbell or kettlebell held in the cup position, or even test it with body weight.
- Start to stand and hold a kettlebell to your chest with your forearms perpendicular to the floor, firmly attached to the core.
- Step back into a reverse lunge with your right leg and aim for a right angle with your front knee. Push back to standing and squeeze your glutes.
- Go back to an inverted lunge again, this time with a smaller step, aiming for your back knee to be close to the back of your front ankle when you are down on the lunge. Keep your front heel on the floor.
- Push back to stand. That’s 1 pair of reps.
- Work back and forth for 40 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds. Do 3 sentences per side.
Use the two-way cup reverse lunge in a number of ways. It’s a perfect leg movement in the middle of a full body cycle that attacks quads, glutes and hamstrings. It can also be a vicious leg tag finisher after doing squats and deadlifts, for example. And it can easily fit into any type of metabolic conditioning circuit. You can also drop the kettlebell and do so with body weight by working on the shape and mechanics. Either way, this is a step to keep in your training arsenal if you want stronger quads, glutes, and hamstrings.
For more tips and routines from Samuel, check out our full list of Eb and Swole workouts. If you want to try an even more specialized routine, consider Eb’s New muscle rules Program.
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