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So last time we discussed how to correctly squat so this time we’re going to focus on another great move to work your legs and stabilizing muscles. Like squats if performed incorrectly you can injure yourself and niggle an ongoing problem.
Bad form in the lunge includes;
- Knees going over the toe
- Folding through the hips
- Knees and toes not tracking
- Not going low enough for maximum benefit
- Taking small steps into the lunge
- Rounding of the back
- Collapsing through the hips
How to correctly lunge
The forward lunge is the most popular lunge seen. You can do this with just you body weight or use weights or resistant bands.
From standing take a big step forward, think of dropping directly down from the hips so the upper body remains in the same place. Bending both knees so the back knee is just off the floor and the front at a 90 degree angle and the thigh parallel to the floor. Then driving through the heel in front to come back into a standing position. If you struggle, you have possibly not taken a big enough step forward. Use mirrors to check your form. If the mirror is in front check that your knee and toes are remaining in alignment and your hips not dropping to one side. ( Look to see if your pushing your hip out to one side or the knee is moving in towards your other leg). From the side make sure your knee stays behind the toe and you keeping that upright posture with your shoulders over your hips.
Reverse Lunge is an option which often works better if you have balance issues as you remain on your front foot and move the other foot back. This allows you to keep you centre of balance and keep your body upright. Follow the same instructions as above but instead of taking a step forward you take the foot back behind you.
With all lunges if you are new to this move then position yourself by a wall or chair so that you can hold on as you go up and down or use a pole to help stabilize yourself.
As you improve you can modify lunges to make them harder and more ballistic, creating an aerobic impact as well as a being a strength exercise.
Perform a lunge as above, then when you are near the ground push yourself up into a jump and swap legs. Making sure you land lightly, with the knees in alignment with the toes and remaining behind the toes. Only preform this movement once you can perform a normal lunge correctly!
Stand with your feet in a wide stance, with your toes turning out slightly. Keeping a nice straight back. To move to the right, place your weight into the right leg whilst bending at the knee, keeping the left leg straight. Pushing yourself make in to the centre and then performing on the left. Make sure your knee stays in alignment with your toe and behind the toe at all times.
This is quite an advanced move and again needs perfect form. Using a raised surface such as a chair, bench or step. Stand about 1’ away from the surface, place 1 leg on the surface and then step forward so the front foot is about 2’ in front of the raised surface. Then drop down through the hips, bending through both knees so the front near is at a 90 degree angle and thigh parallel to the floor. Keeping your back nice and straight, toes in alignment with the knees and your knees behind your toes. Complete all your reps on 1 leg and then swap legs.
Think about your posture / form throughout;
Keep a nice straight back
Toe and knees in alignment
Knee remaining behind the toes
Bending through the knees