Why it's on the list: Like all the movements listed thus far, lunges involve hip and knee extension, which gives you the stimulus for both the thighs and glutes. Another advantage: They can be done weighted in traditional muscle-building rep ranges, with dumbbells or a barbell, or with body weight alone for higher reps.
How high? That's up to you—and your program. Strength and muscle-building coach Paul Carter's bodyweight program Jacked at Home starts off a workout each week with triple-digit walking lunges. You read that right. Give it a try if you want to see how thin the line between strength training and cardio can be.
Lunge Variations for Leg Development:
- Walking lunge (barbell, dumbbell, bodyweight)
- Forward lunge (barbell, dumbbell, bodyweight)
- Reverse lunge (barbell, dumbbell, bodyweight)
- Cursty lunge
In your workout: In a traditional leg day, do 3 sets of 8-20 reps per side, going higher the later it is in your routine. As you reach muscle failure, jettison any weights and do a few more reps without them, like you would in a dropset.