Lunges are a classic exercise. It is possible to do lunges anywhere and the positive effects of these exercises can be seen in no time in the form of shapely, toned legs and backside. If you’re planning on incorporating lunges into your fitness routine ensure that you’re not doing more harm than good.
The world of fitness and exercise has long been peppered with fitness myths, misconceptions, misperceptions as well as biased information. While much data is sound and well-intentioned, some of these fitness misnomers is designed to attract us to buying things, whether these are good for us or not. Together, sound information blends with the “fluff” to result in a convoluted mass of confusion as well as contradictions. Alternatively it turns into a believable viewpoint, which is responsible for grossly oversimplifying a complex subject.
As if that’s not enough, in the world of fitness a version of the “telephone game” is often thrown into the mix. Information about health and wellness passes from person to person, often changing along the way. The original intent and rationale become lost in translation. Owing to this, a person may blindly follow what they hear without ever inquiring about objective reasoning.
We are taught fitness and health guidelines. These are interpreted as rules. Whatever or whomever we learned them from first is often perceived as “right”. We have the tendency to listen to and follow the masses because “if everyone is doing it this way, it must be right….Right?” The same principle is often followed with lunges which leads to many people injuring themselves as they adopt the incorrect form.
The proper method for performing a forward lunge
The forward lunge is one of the extremely common variations of the squats. Here is how to do this:
- Stand up tall and make sure that your feet are hip-width apart. Engage your core.
- Take a wide step forward with your right leg. Start to move your weight forward so that your heel hits the floor first.
- Lower your body until the point where your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your right shin is vertical. It’s fine if your knee shifts forward a little so long as it doesn’t go past your right toe. If you are able to lightly tap your left knee to the floor while keeping your weight in your right heel.
- Put your weights into your right heel in order to drive back up to your starting position.
- Repeat on the other side.
There are a couple of variations of the lunge. Here are some of them:
Wall sits can be done almost anywhere with the only equipment needed is a wall. Ideally, you will do a wall sit in a position where your whole spine is flat on the surface of the wall. Your knees must be in a direct line with your hips as well as in line over your ankles. Make sure that your knees don’t extend past their toes. If you have knee discomfort, begin higher up so that your knees are not forming a 90-degree angle from the hips until they work up to this particular level.
Lunges while holding a bar or suspension training bands
Another lunge variation that uses minimal equipment is making use of a stable surface such as a bar or suspension straps. You will minimise your range of motion (ROM) and difficulty regarding the degree of balance while working on static lunges.
Hold the bar and line your front knee up over the ankle and make sure that your back foot follows the width of your hip as you move into the lunge. The spine should be straight with your shoulders lined up over the hips.
The lunge is a resistance exercise which can be used in order to assist with strengthening your lower body. Muscles worked include:
When practised from different angles, lunges are also a functional movement. Functional movements can help you work muscles in ways that benefit everyday movements you do outside of exercising. For example, side lunges help strengthen the muscles your body uses to move and change direction.
If you are lost in anyway – remember a trained personal trainer can always assist you with correct form to prevent any un necessary injuries from happening.