Strong to the Core Challenge: Side Lunge Progressions

By the Editors of SilverSneakers |

Challenging your stability is a sneaky way to work your core. That’s just one reason to add these moves to your routine. 


When was the last time you were caught off guard and had to quickly recover your stance? Maybe you were hiking a nature trail, wrestling with the grandkids, or simply leaning over a bit too far to grab something off your counter.  

Much of our daily movement happens in one plane of motion: the sagittal plane. That’s a fancy way to describe a forward and backward motion. But strengthening the muscles on all sides of your body can help you stay strong, mobile, and balanced should anything unexpected come your way.  

That’s where side lunges come in. They strengthen muscles on the sides of your glutes and quadriceps that help stabilize your hip joint. They’re also good for your hamstrings. And alternating one leg at a time helps address any muscular imbalances between your left and right side that could be standing in your way of pain-free and easy movement.   

Here, SilverSneakers Master Trainer Andi takes you through three side lunge variations to incorporate into your exercise routine.  

Keep your exercise routine fresh with SilverSneakers group fitness classes! Choose from dozens of different Community classes, visit a participating fitness location, or view the current schedule of SilverSneakers LIVE online classes here. 

How to Use the Side Lunge Progressions 

To get started, you’ll just need yourself and a sturdy chair for standing support. When you’re ready, press play and follow-along with Andi.  

As you try these variations, remember to keep your chest up, your shoulders back and down, and your core engaged. As you lunge, remember to only bend as far as you comfortably can. Here’s what to do if lunges hurt your knees 

If you’re joining us for a SilverSneakers LIVE class, your instructor will guide you through the exercise, but feel free to use the variation that feels best for you. If you’re working out on your own at the gym, try these up to three times a week or add them at the end of your walking workout. They also pair nicely with other types of lunges, including the reverse lunge. Aim for up to three sets of six to 10 reps per side.  

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As always, safety is key. The exercises here may be different or more advanced than those you’ll experience in a SilverSneakers class. If you have a chronic condition, an injury, or balance issues, talk to your doctor about how you can exercise safely.  

Lunge Progressions in Action: Two SilverSneakers Classes to Try 

Lunges are such an important functional exercise that you’ll find them in just about every SilverSneakers class, both in-person or online. If you’re already working out regularly and are looking for a new and different workout, one good one to try is SilverSneakers Yoga Pilates Fusion. This is a fun and unique intermediate-level class that builds endurance and flexibility through a combination of yoga, Pilates, and barre exercises. It’s offered at participating SilverSneakers fitness locations (review the gym’s schedule for exact times) and through SilverSneakers LIVE 

Or check out one of our popular SilverSneakers LIVE Total Body Strength classes. It’s a 45-minute workout that is all about giving you the strength you need to power through daily activities with greater ease.  See the latest SilverSneakers LIVE schedule and RSVP for classes here  

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