Switch up your training today by adding some Jumping Switch Lunges into your routine.
When you are first learning the Switch Lunge, practice your form with just your bodyweight. Over time when you feel you have nailed your form, you can add extra resistance with Dumbbells, Barbell(probably the hardest due to you having to balance the bar on your back while jumping), Kettlebells or a heavy-duty weighted vest.
Lunges are an undeniably useful leg training exercise, and with all the different possible variations there is no reason for you to get bored.
This article will include a video, image and written step by step description on how to perform the exercise.
Its difficulty level, the equipment you will need to be able to perform it, and the muscle groups worked.
The different benefits you will get when adding it to your training routine. Also, some different training tips to help make sure you are getting the most you can get out of it.
How to do Switch Lunges
Step by Step Description
Step 1: Stand up straight with your shoulders pulled back, jump and while you are in the air place one foot in front and the other behind your body. Land in a lunge position with your front legs knee at a 90-degree angle your knee should now be directly over the ankle.
Step 2: Drive your front legs heel into the floor creating as much momentum as you can and jump up alternating your legs landing back in the lunge position.
You have now completed one repetition. Repeat for your selected number of reps.
The Switch Lunge gets rated at an intermediate difficulty level.
It is significantly more difficult than the traditional lunge since it requires you to jump explosively and switch your foot positioning in the air.
So before you even attempt this lift, you better have your form with the traditional lunge down. If you still have some problems with balancing(feel like you are going to tip sideways) on regular lunges, you need to practice for a bit longer.
One of the benefits of this lift is the number of variations possible. You can use this lift as a calisthenics exercise where all you will need is your body and an area large enough for you to step forward and jump up.
To continue making progress, you have two primary options.
The first is to keep increasing the number of reps and sets you are performing(can get pretty dull after a while and limits strength gains.
Another option instead of increasing your reps and sets is to add additional weight to your body. The easiest way to add weight to this exercise is by using weighted clothing. Weighted clothing is the straightforward option since you just strap the vest to your body and there is nothing that you have to hold when performing the lift.
However, weighted clothing is not the only option you can hold a kettlebell or dumbbell in each hand to add extra resistance or even use a barbell across your back.
Dumbell Jump Lunge Example
The Primary muscles worked are your Quadriceps. The other muscle groups involved are your Hamstrings, Glutes, Calves with your core acting as stabilizers.
Switch Lunge Benefits
Jump lunges are one of those exercises that work great in traditional set/rep based training or a High-Intensity Interval training program. It just depends on what you are trying to work. Remember to build raw strength use weighted sets with low reps and with maximal weight. To help train your cardiovascular health, your going want to use it as a bodyweight exercise in a HIIT routine.
For most people lunges are one of the first lower body unilateral(trains single side of your body at a time) exercises learned. Unilateral exercises are shown to help increase your balance, stability, and coordination.
Unilateral training is also a great way to make sure you are not developing any muscle imbalances between sides. If you can perform more lunges with one leg then the other you can add additional focus on the weak leg to bring it up to par with the other. Evening out strength between legs also brings the advantage of helping you to strengthen your squats and deadlifts and lower your chance of injury.
Lunges are a form of functional training. Adding some functional training to your routines is essential since it helps you to improve your performance in everyday activities.
You are not trying to perform some little hop when you are doing the hop/jump portion. You need to generate as much force as possible and launch your body up in the air remember this is also a plyometric exercise.
If you want to get your heart rate up and burn up a large number of calories you need to use this exercise in a High-Intensity Interval Training program. We offer a free online HIIT timer you can use for free.
If your looking at building more power in your legs then set number of reps (between 3 and 8 is the way to go. Every time you can complete your desired number of reps and sets make sure you add some additional weight the next time you perform it).
Make sure your forward leg knee stays in alignment with your ankle. When your knee goes past this point, it adds additional stress to the knee ligaments.
If you want to build a muscular lower body, you need to include some heavy compound training into your training programs.
Unilateral exercises like this are crucial to include in your training. It helps ensure your body is symmetrical and can help weed out any muscular imbalances you may have developed.
If you are looking to add some variety to your training, you should try the switch lunge for at least a few weeks to see the benefits it has to offer for yourself.