Lunges are a great exercise for burning calories and strengthening the lower body. But how many lunges does it actually take to burn off 100 calories? The exact number can vary substantially depending on factors like your weight, intensity level, and lunge form. With some quick calculations, we can estimate a ballpark range for the average person.
Calories Burned Per Lunge
Let’s start by estimating the calories burned per lunge. A basic lunge involves stepping forward with one leg, lowering your body until both knees are bent at 90 degree angles, and pushing back up to the starting position.
According to Harvard Health, a 155 pound person burns approximately 3.5 calories per minute doing lunges. This assumes a moderate intensity pace, not particularly fast or slow.
Most people can comfortably perform about 30-50 lunges per minute. Taking the middle ground of 40 lunges per minute, we can divide the 3.5 calories per minute by 40 lunges to get about 0.09 calories burned per lunge.
In table form:
|Weight||Calories burned per minute||Lunges per minute||Calories per lunge|
Keep in mind this is just a rough estimate. The actual amount can range from 0.07 to 0.11+ calories per lunge depending on the speed and intensity.
Calculating Total Lunges for 100 Calories
Now that we know the estimated calories burned per lunge, we can calculate the total lunges needed to burn 100 calories:
100 calories / 0.09 calories per lunge = 1,111 lunges
So based on our estimate, it would take approximately 1,111 lunges to burn 100 calories for a 155 pound person doing moderate intensity lunges.
This lines up well with general fitness recommendations. Many experts recommend doing 100-200 lunges per strength training session. Doing 3-5 sets of 100 lunges would total 300-500 lunges, or about 27-45 calories burned. Over multiple sessions per week, hitting 1,000+ lunges and 100 calories burned is certainly achievable.
How Other Factors Influence Calories Burned
While 1,111 lunges is a reasonable estimate for a 155 pound person, many factors can raise or lower the actual number of lunges needed to burn 100 calories:
Heavier people burn more calories per lunge than lighter people. Here’s a breakdown of the estimated lunges for 100 calories based on body weight:
|Weight||Lunges for 100 Calories|
As shown, lighter people need more lunges to burn 100 calories, while heavier people require fewer. This is because the more you weigh, the more calories you’ll burn per lunge.
The intensity of your lunges also impacts calories burned. Here’s how doing slow, medium or fast pace lunges changes the estimate:
|Intensity||Lunges per Minute||Lunges for 100 Calories|
Performing lunges vigorously and rapidly will enable you to burn 100 calories with fewer total lunges. But slower lunges are often better for technique and leg strength.
Proper lunge form leads to more calories burned too. Going through a full range of motion, keeping your torso upright, and using your glutes and hamstrings will give you a better workout. Sloppy lunges with minimal leg activation will require more lunges.
Breaks Between Sets
Taking extended breaks decreases your overall calorie burn. Shorter breaks of 30-60 seconds between sets allows you to perform more total lunges during a workout. Breaks of 2+ minutes can reduce total lunges performed by over 20%.
Best Practices for Maximizing Calorie Burn
Follow these tips if your goal is to maximize the calories (and fat) burned through lunges:
- Use weights – Holding dumbbells at your sides increases resistance and calories burned.
- Keep good form – Go down until your legs are at 90 degree angles to fully work the muscles.
- Take shorter breaks – Get in more total lunges by limiting rest time between sets.
- Increase the pace – Faster lunges burn more calories in less time.
- Use variations – Backward lunges, lateral lunges, and walking lunges hit more muscles.
- Train to failure – Increase reps until you can’t complete another lunge with good form.
Combining these methods can help you burn significantly more calories doing the same number of lunges. But be cautious of doing too many lunges too quickly, as that increases injury risk.
The Burn Rate Slows Over Time
One final point is that the calories burned per lunge often decreases over the course of a workout as you get tired. When your muscles fatigue, your lunges become less powerful and efficient. You’ll burn fewer calories toward the end of a hard lunge workout.
This means you might need more than 1,111 total lunges if doing them in a single session. Breaking up the workload into multiple shorter sessions can help minimize the decline in calorie burn.
Based on average estimates, it takes about 1,111 lunges to burn 100 calories for a 155 pound person doing moderate lunges. But the actual amount varies substantially based on body weight, intensity, form, rest periods, use of weights, and other factors.
To burn 100 calories most efficiently through lunges, use proper technique, minimize rest between sets, increase the pace as you’re able, and incorporate dumbbells or variations like walking lunges. Just be careful not to overdo it too quickly in search of maximum calorie burn.