The lunge is a great multi- joint exercise for strengthening muscles that support your hips, knees and ankles. Compared to the squat, which is an up and down motion on two legs, lunges requires you to be in a split stance with one leg in front of the other which requires more strength, balance and core stability.
It is imperative to perform lunges with the correct technique otherwise you may be compromising the effectiveness of the exercise or cause yourself an injury.
Here are some important technique cues for lunges:
1. Maintain good posture!
Your back must be straight and your shoulders retracted and chest lifted. Your head should be facing straight ahead.
2. Feet should be in line with your hips
Your front and back leg should be in line with your hips. Many people try to put one foot in front of the other which makes the exercise much more difficult. It is much more functional to maintain correct alignment of the knees with the hips.
3. Keep knees behind your toes
When bending the knees into a lunge both the front and back leg should be able to bend to at least 90 degrees. (If you find this difficult it is ok to lunge only until you feel comfortable)
Make sure that your knees do not go over your toes otherwise you will be putting added strain through the quadriceps in the knees rather than evenly distributing weight through the gluteal muscles at the hips.
4. Knees should be in line with your second toe
If you have some weakness in your hips you will find it difficult to maintain your knee in line with your second toe. You may find that your knee collapses inward the further your bend. If this is the case only lunge as far as you can whilst maintaining all of the above cues.
Need some help with your lunges? OR want to know ways in which you can adjust the lunge to make it harder or easier?
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