Lunges are my favourite exercises for the lower body. It also happens to be one of the most effective exercises for strengthening and correcting imbalances in the lower body.
Lunges will help stretch and strengthen tight hips from too much sitting, they will help balance one leg being stronger then the other and they will increase your proprioception and balance (making you less unco).
Below is the most basic version of lunges which is done on the spot. Sometimes they are also called split squats.
First you need to get your feet spacing. Get down on the ground in a half kneeling position. Make sure there is a nice 90 degree angle at both knees and also at the hips.
From that position just straighten your knees til you are standing up. To complete the next rep, lower yourself back down until your knee is a few centimetres off the ground and then straighten up again.
Tip: The spacing of your feet is important. At the bottom of the lunge they should remain hip width wide (do not line up the feet). Remember the length of the lunge should allow you to have right angles at the knees and the hip (see picture above).
Begin standing up straight. Step backwards and proceed to lower your back knee until it is just a few centimeters off the ground. Keep your foot flat on the ground. Resist the urge to shift your weight onto the toes of your front foot.
From the position push off the back leg and drive down through the heel of the front leg until you reach your starting position again.
Lower yourself down into the bottom of a lunge. Explode upwards into a jump. Switch your legs in mid air and landing in the lunge position (with the opposite leg forward to the one you started with). Like all plyometrics, land softly, with minimal noise and perfect technique.