Time spent perfecting your lunge patterns will pay dividends for everyone. Lunging is the basic pattern for walking and running so it’s important to get it right. Also there are great benefits to be gained in strengthening the muscles involved – the glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves in particular. Lunges should form part of the staple diet of just about everybody’s strength and conditioning programme.
Here are some technique pointers to bear in mind:
Knees aligned, not wobbling or moving from side to side, tracking over front of foot.
Everything facing forwards – knees, hips, shoulders, feet.
Head in neutral – chin level, chest lifted, torso upright.
Common faults that need correcting:
Tightness in hips or lack of ankle flexibility preventing back knee from lowering close enough to ground.
Leaning forwards and putting too much weight through the knee joint.
Leaning back too much and over extending the lower back.
I’ve also noticed that many people who have ‘dodgy knees’ tend to have their front knee out in front of their toes when they lunge (and this is often seen in the squat too with these athletes). This is putting too much shear through the joint in a bad position. Shin should be close to vertical.
Aside from a simple forward lunge, reverse lunges are excellent for developing balance and better proprioception, side lunges and lunge walks forwards and backwards can also be performed. Like squats, lunges are great for giving you well-toned gluteal muscles – who doesn’t want that? As you become more proficient in your technique, you can begin to add in some weight and intensity, but always maintaining good form, which is the key to all these movements. You can also add in an upper body movement – e.g. a lunge with a front raise or a bicep curl, or a squat with an overhead press with a medicine ball etc. to make it more challenging and get two for the price of one.
If you would like to find out more or would like to try out some of these movements in the gym, with guidance, please do not hesitate to contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org or by text or phone to 07504439555. I’d be happy to take 20 minutes or so to help you with your form with no obligation.