One of my favorite exercises, done properly. Most people like to keep their knees fairly close to their body, creating ninety degree angles.
I had my coworker demonstrate the classic lunge below:
If you want to work your quads, do your lunges in this way. They will get tired fast! However, if you want to work my favorite Triple Threat Threesome of glutes, hamstrings, and hip flexors, you must allow those long legs to stretch a little further apart.
Something like this:
Let that back leg really extend so that you can feel the hip flexor stretch on the front of the back hip, and then drop down into the hip flexor on the front leg. When you’re ready to come back up, please drive through the front heel so that you can engage the glutes and hamstrings while rising.
Now we’re talking! Use those big powerful muscles on the back of your leg to get you back up.
If you like to do straight ahead sports like running, walking, biking, and swimming, you need to do lunges and other strength exercises in a DIRECTION OTHER THAN STRAIGHT AHEAD.
You are already naturally strong in that direction because your sport- i.e. walking the dog- creates that strength.
Please consider moving in another direction to make sure your hips stay strong if you step off the curb wrong or hit some gravel and lose your balance.
I love moving sideways.
I have blogged numerous times about walking sideways. That is a direction other than straight ahead. However, have you considered yet another direction?
How about 45 degrees?
How often do you move in that direction?
Here’s a quick video on how to do a lunge in a 45 degree angle, which is a vector often missed by the masses. Does it have to be a perfect 45 degree?
No. Absolutely not. Move in any variety of 15-85 degree angles, because you never know when that angle might come in handy!
Let me know how your incorporation of multitude of lunge angles is going in the comments below…let’s not have stepping off the curb be a major preventable disaster.