For a fun, athletic variation on a lunge, pick up a 3- to 5-pound medicine ball and give this exercise a try. Make sure you move with control and precision so you avoid swinging your body with too much momentum. Begin with a light ball first, then progress as you get stronger and more familiar with the movement.
1. Stand with your feet together, holding a medicine ball in front of your chest with straight arms. Lunge back with your right leg so your left ankle is directly below your left knee and your right knee is bent close to the floor. Keep your back upright and your abdominals pulled in toward your spine.
2. On an inhalation, push into your left leg as you raise your right bent leg up toward your chest. At the same time, rotate your rib cage, chest and shoulders to the right, keeping the ball in front of your chest at all times. Pause for a breath, then lunge back to the start position and repeat 12 times. Switch legs and repeat on the other side.
Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including "Full Body Stretch" and "Ballet BodySculpt."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun