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Not only does this three-part move make my thigh muscles blaze, but I get a great stretch down my kneecaps and through my shins, as well.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a 5- or 8-pound dumbbell in each hand.
Lunge forward with your left leg, then straighten your leg. When you lunge, your right knee should come to about an inch above the ground without touching it.
Keep your torso perpendicular to the floor, with your weight evenly distributed between your legs. Align your front knee over your front ankle, keeping the weight in your heels instead of on your toes.
Continue these lunges for 30 seconds before switching sides and doing another 30 seconds on the other leg.
Phase 2 of lunges with dumbbells:
Hold the dumbbells at shoulder height, palms facing front.
Lunge forward with one leg, then bring your feet back together and lunge forward with the other leg. You should continue lunging on alternate legs for 60 seconds.
Add a biceps curl in the final progression of this move: After each lunge forward, push through the heel of your forward foot while lifting your back knee in front of you to hip level.
Do a biceps curl, then step back into a lunge. Repeat the lunge, plus curl, on one leg for 30 seconds, and then switch legs for another 30 seconds.