Lunges are excellent muscular strength training exercises for the lower body and nose to toes core. Check out the three lunge exercises featured this week adding these to your exercise arsenal. As always, prior to beginning any exercise please consult your physician.
*The following lunge exercises are sequenced from the least to most challenging. Therefore, master lunge exercise number one without external load, then with external load before attempting to perform the following two options. *Perform two-three sets of 8-12 repetitions of one of the following exercises on two-three non-consecutive days per week.
Lunge Exercise #1 Standing Stationary Lunges – goblet – holding one heavy kettlebell or dumbbell stand with the legs staggered in a long front/back stride, back heel remains elevated throughout the exercise, shoulders/hips/knees/toes all facing the same direction and the legs right/left are positioned as though you are standing on two different railroad tracks. Holding the k/b or d/b, lower the body down, flexing the knees 90 degrees, keeping the body weight in the front heel the entire exercise. Then, drive through the heels extending both legs at the knee joint without locking the knees or dropping the heel. There is absolutely no forward motion in a stationary lunge. So, keep your torso erect and able to wiggle your front toes throughout the exercise. *Trains the quadriceps/hamstrings/glutes/nose to toes core.
Lunge Exercise #2 Lunge/Knee – TRX – set the straps at approximately 18” from the floor. Holding the handles, facing the TRX anchor point, arms straight and the body far enough under the TRX so that you are able to perform a proper lunge and lift your knee. Stagger the legs front to back, the majority of the body weight will be located in the heel of the foot that is not lifting throughout the exercise. Engaging the quadriceps (anterior thigh), lower the body into the lunge and then drive through the supporting heel and lift the working leg into a knee lift. Then, lower that leg back into the lunge and repeat on the other side. Remember, do not pull yourself up with your arms. Arms are extended and do not move. *Trains the quadriceps/hamstrings/glutes and nose to toes core.
Lunge Exercise #3 Traveling Lunges – heavy dumbbells – this exercise is often performed poorly, consequently, unless the travel aspect can be performed with meticulous form, then it is better to perform stationary lunges instead. Stand with the feet approximately hip distance apart right to left, holding d/b by the sides, step out with the R foot and contact the floor with the R heel first, as the L leg trails behind, keeping the L heel elevated. When you reach the destination, you should have decelerated so that the R knee never shoots out over the R toes and the legs are forming a 90 degree angle at the knee joints. Then, bring the legs hip distance apart and step out with the L foot and repeat. Alternating across an open space on the floor, keeping the shoulders/hips/knees/toes facing the same direction throughout, never permitting the torso to lurch or lean forward. Keep the torso stationary/upright throughout. *Trains the quadriceps/hamstrings/glutes and nose to toes core. **Always stop between sides with the legs hip distance apart. *** The trailing leg knee should never contact the floor.