2017 new fitness journey VI: the lunge

The lunge

 

Don’t just plunge into a lunge!

 

Any new fitness journey wouldn’t be complete without mastering the lunge, a movement that places the hip in an extended position. To perform the lunge correctly:

  • take one step forward (either leg) while keeping the other static
  • maintaining a neutral spine and upright torso, ‘sit’ straight down through your hips, bending both the front and back knee
  • keep your feet pointed forward (if necessary adopt a wider stance for better balance)
  • drop all the way down, until just before your back knee touches the ground
  • hold this position for a second and then come straight back up

When dropping down, really push your feet into the ground, applying forward pressure on the front foot and backward pressure on the rear foot.

Once you have completed a set with one leg leading forward (with the number of reps determined by your fitness levels) switch legs.

Static or mobile?

The movement as described is a static lunge, where your body is effectively moving up and down all the while staying in the same spot, but all the same principles apply if you wish to perform walking lunges, carrying dumbells as your fitness and technique improves.

Why lunges are important

The main reason for the importance of this exercise is that it places one hip in ‘extension’ and the other in ‘flexion’ at the same time. That other essential movement, the squat, focuses on hip flexion, but if you are a strength athlete it is important to maintain balance in your hips. If you just perform hip flexion, without hip extensions, this may lead to some potential imbalances, which in the longer term might result in unnecessary injuries.

By simply adding some lunges into your program not only will you maintain balance in your hips and reduce the risk of unnecessary injury, but the quality of your squat will benefit too.

 

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         About the author 

Alex is a registered Master Trainer and Nutritional Advisor with Level 4 qualifications in obesity and diabetes. He is also a strength specialist and a Ni Dan in Shotokan Karate.

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