Perfecting the LungeDecember 9, 2020
It’s All About Angles in Lunges
The lunge is a VERY good exercise to strengthen the quads (thigh muscle) and glutes. However, if done incorrectly, it is a wasted movement that causes major injury in the knee.
Now, this is about the forward and backward lunges. If you hear me in class, I usually shout, “Take big steps and drop the body down!”
Lunges do not need to be a big step if 90 degree angles are formed at the knee joint.
You can see in the picture to the left that the knee is in front of the foot. These types of lunges put IMMENSE stress around the knee cap area.
2 things often happen when this occurs:
1) The user feels discomfort/pain
2) The user does not get low enough to engage all the possible muscles
Remember: to get stronger, you must work the muscle in its full range of motion.
If you are constantly cutting your range 50+ or more, that is less than 50% of the muscle fibers working and there will be ZERO progress and growth.
Looking to the next picture on the left you can see the user has a 90-degree angle in both knees.
*ignore the knee down, that isn’t necessary*
This person simply looks cleaner versus the photo on top where the small, improper lunge looks awkward.
Additional Key Pointers
- Back heel MUST be up to give your heel and calf the flexibility to lunge
- Tall chest *aka no forward* to avoid low back involvement
- The back knee is after the hip versus the back knee before the hip in the top photo
- When stepping, step wide if you feel unbalanced. If your step is narrow like a supermodel on a runaway, you will spend more time trying to balance.
- Widen your base for better balance. Once your quads and glutes are stronger, you can start to narrow your base.