Lunges, as you likely know, are one of the best compound movements for your lower body. But let’s face it: They can get a little boring. 

That’s where the tornado jump lunge comes in: This challenging variation on the traditional stationary or walking lunge adds shape to your legs and glutes while boosting your heart rate and blasting added calories. It’s a complex exercise, designed to be done in a rapid sequence. Do it continuously at a fast pace and you’ll work your butt and thighs while also forcing your adductors and abductors into the equation and even tackling your core. “Because this exercise is explosive and quick, it maximizes fast-twitch fiber recruitment,” explains Michael Coyle, certified personal trainer and owner of The Jungle Gym in Windsor, Ontario. “These fibers have the most potential for strength development and growth—and fast-twitch fibers burn more calories than their slow-twitch counterparts.” 

But before you go and start crushing this move, Coyle cautions that this variation of the lunge is a bit advanced. Knee issues can result from sudden or unfamiliar movements, so it’s important that your knee and surrounding muscles are strong and primed for the challenge.

Begin by incorporating a few sets of the jumping lunge as part of a dynamic warmup. Then, add in a few reps of the tornado jump at a slower, controlled pace, and limit the depth of each lunge to midrange. You can add more reps each week, increasing the depth and pace of the lunges as you become more accustomed to the movement. Once you’ve mastered it, use it as an intensity booster between sets or tack it to the end of your workout as a burnout exercise. Aim for 15 to 30 seconds of continuous jumps each set, working up to three to four sets per workout.

How to Do the Tornado Jump Lunge:

  • Stand tall with feet hip-distance apart. Step your right foot back and behind you and lower into a curtsy lunge, bending both knees about 90 degrees, hands at sides or in front of body.
  • Pushing off the floor, jump up and swing your right leg out from behind your left leg, keeping hands at center.
  • Land with right foot forward and left foot back, knees bent. Immediately lower back into a lunge position and push explosively off the balls of feet to switch sides again. Continue, switching legs as quickly as you can for 30 seconds.