Today I want to talk about the Lunge, and give some basic indications of how to perform it correctly.
Lunging is one of the Primal Movements: you lunge every day when you get in the car and out, climb stairs, avoid things on the floor and stretch out your leg… Therefore, it is a very functional exercise that should be part of any base conditioning exercise program. If you don’t know how to lunge correctly, you lose stability in the joints (knee, hip, sacroiliac, ankles) and put yourself at a higher risk for injury. So let’s see what the basic tips to perform a good lunge are.
First, start with the static lunge, or split squat:
- Make a big step forward and keep your feet in this position. Feet should be shoulder width apart
- Keep your back straight up, head and eyes looking forward
- Shoulders and hips should be vertically aligned
- Take a deep diaphragmatic breath, then hold and pull the belly button in towards the spine
- Drop down until your back knee is just off the floor. Your back thighs and front chin should be perpendicular to the floor (shouldn’t be inclined forward). Always hold an upright posture all the way.
- Make sure that your front knee doesn’t move inwards but stays stable in the sagittal plane, tracking over the second toe
- Exhale through pursed lips as you push back up and come back to the start position. For a better gluteus maximus activation (major butt muscle), lift your front toes. You will feel that this activates your posterior chain even more.
Once you can perform the static lunge with good form, you can go to the next level and start performing a FRONT LUNGE instead. The technique is the same, same breathing and same postural demands. Instead of keeping your feet in the split stance, you step forward, go down, then come back up and push yourself back to the start position, the front foot coming back next to the other one. On your way back to the start position, push back with the whole front foot, not just the toes. You could also lift those toes again to activate again the posterior chain even more.
The next level variations are: back lunges, multi-direction lunges, walking lunges..... Just make sure your form is perfect. It is always better to ask a professional to guide you through it.
Lunges target mainly all glutes muscles (butt), legs muscles (mainly quads and hamstrings), and core to stabilize the pelvis. Because it has a high demand in joint stability, it is better to avoid it in late pregnancy or post-partum, because of major laxity of the joints (that could easier cause injuries).
There are many ways to upgrade the lunge to more demanding variations, but these are the basics and a lot of people struggle already with them.
Just make sure your form is right, ask us for advise, we are happy to help!
In Health and Happiness,