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Today’s Workout column: Weighted lunge works lower half of body

Marlo Alleva
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Plaquemine Post South

We have our highs and lows. One day our focus is on all the home improvements that we haven’t had time for before and, let me say, that is a workout!

Then there are the days that you just can’t break away from that new Netflix season.

Obviously two different extremes. But we can definitely find balance and normalcy by keeping our fitness a priority.

Our move today is a weighted lunge. You will be working your glutes, hamstrings and quads.

You will need a set of hand weights - or milk jugs, water bottles, soup cans, etc., basically anything that will give you a little extra intensity.

And a good amount of space.

Begin this lunge by standing tall and grasping your choice of weight in each hand. Proceed to step back with your left foot, and stabilize by planting the toes and ball of your foot on the ground. Keeping the right foot firmly in place, dig the heel in for stability in the front.

Now, hold your chest tall, engage the midsection for control and hold the weights down on each side.

So let’s move!

In your split stance, begin to bend in each knee. Slowly lower your body and feel the leg muscles engage. Push yourself to a low enough position aiming for a 90-degree bend in both knees. Focus on not leaning forward. Keep upright, and sit slightly back into the rear leg.

Once you reach your lowest point, return to the start.

Continue this movement of lowering and lifting in your lunge for at least 10 repetitions. Switch sides and repeat. Shoot for at least three sets of 10 on each side.

If your balance is contradicted by the extra weight; reduce it or simply use no weight.

If you need, get more creative with what you can safely hold and lunge at the same time.

This exercise will keep the lower body toned, the legs warmed up for all the extra yard work, and those long stretches of TV time can be considered “your rest day.”

Marlo Alleva, an instructor at Gold’s Gym and group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gills YMCA in Lakeland, Florida, can be reached at faluvzpa@msn.com.