Lunges require you to bring one foot in front of the other and shift your weight forward, but what happens next can say a lot about your muscular weaknesses. Stability issues are pretty common, but the root of the problem can be anything from having a weak core, to tight hips, to unstable feet. Let's take a closer look.
Photo by benaston.
According to Meghan Callaway, a properly done lunge should tick off the following: A slight forward lean with a neutral spine (relatively straight back), a level pelvis, contraction of your core, stable feet and knees that don't wobble side to side, and an actual "up and down" path. Here's where you might go wrong:
- You're leaning too far back: In a proper lunge, your forward leg shoulders most of the weight and does almost all of the work. By leaning back, you're stiffing yourself on the benefits. The superficial fix is to lean forward, but the real fix is to work on your core strength with exercises like medicine ball slams, deadbugs and ab wheel rollouts.
- Your knees are not moving in a straight line: An ideal lunge should have your knees travel forward without going off to either side. The culprit for lateral-moving knees is usually weak glutes. Exercises like deadlifts, front squats, clamshells and hip thrusts can help address that.
- Your knees are going past your toes: This is actually OK for some people, but if you're feeling pressure and weirdness in your knee you might be shifting too much weight into your toes and/or not pushing off of your heels.
In some cases, you may also be stepping too far in front of you or not far enough. A properly done lunge teaches you stability and strengthens the meaty, important parts of your legs. Plus, incorporating single-leg work into your lower body routine can do a lot in further improving leg strength and balance.
Deconstructing the Lunge: Fix Your Lunge With These Simple Steps [Meghan Callaway]
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