The Best Exercise To Give You More Functional Strength

Most of the big lifts we love to do—the squat, the deadlift—only let you move in one plane of motion. Think about it: at the end of the day, you’re just going up and down. That limits your workout and limits your mobility. If all we ever do is go up and down, we’d suffer from a functional shortcoming.

Luckily, there’s a fix, and Tony Vidal, a trainer at Beast NYC, has it. It’s called the transverse lunge.

WATCH: The Most Effective Lunge Workout You Can Do At Home

“This is going to be great for three-dimensional movement, something that’s important,” says Vidal. “I know we like to load up the weight, always coming up and down in the same planes of motion.”

So before you squat, start with the transverse lunge. It’s a relatively simple motion. All you need is a weight— Vidal uses a sandbag, but a kettle bell or dumbbell will work just fine.

“Keeping [the weight] nice and close toward the chest, toes are going to be pointing straight ahead,” Vidal says. Then all you do is lunge to the side. “We want to make sure that when we step out, we keep our knee in line with our toe.”

Lunges For Killer Legs

Open up your hip as your rotate, driving off your heel and back. It’s important to push off with your foot for the full effect.

“Keep moving at your own pace, making sure you load up the weight on the back of the foot,” says Vidal. “Once you try to hit eight on each side, and then go into your regular squat pattern.”

By Ben Radding