When You Do Too Many Lunges, This Is What Happens

Lunges are a popular resistance training exercise that can help tone and strengthen your lower body (via Insider). That's because lunges simultaneously target multiple major muscle groups, including the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves, which can help build muscle mass and increase bone density in your legs and lower body. According to a 2006 study published by theĀ American Council on Exercise, forward lunges are more effective at strengthening these areas than squats, leg presses, or hip extension exercises.

Lunges can also help improve your balance, correct muscle imbalances, and even prevent injury. Since lunges are unilateral exercises that train one leg at a time, they can cause your body to become less stable, forcing your core to work harder to keep you balanced and upright throughout the duration of the lunge. In addition, single-leg movements activate your stabilizing muscles. This can help prevent the muscles in one leg from being weaker or stronger than the muscles in the other leg (per Insider).

Overtraining can lead to injury

While lunges can certainly strengthen your core and lower body and help improve your overall balance, doing too many lunges can actually lead to injury (via LiveStrong). Just like with any other type of exercise, overtraining can hinder your body's ability to recover and cause damage to your muscles. "Lunges can be a demanding movement and certainly can be done too much," Nicholas Rizzo, a biologist and fitness research director at RunRepeat, told LiveStrong. "The obvious signs of over-exercising, like muscles being too sore, being tired and worn down and being overall weaker, all apply to lunges."

If you're overdoing it, your muscles will most likely tighten, making it more and more difficult for you to continue performing the exercise. This is a sign that you should stop and take a break. Overtraining and overworking your muscles can potentially lead to muscle strain, tendonitis, or joint problems. That's why it's a good idea to limit the amount of time you dedicate to lunges every week. While some experts recommend not doing them every day, others suggest limiting the number of sets per day. No matter how you limit your number or frequency of lunges, listen to your body so you don't end up hurting yourself.