Hey everyone! Hope y’all are having a great week and are getting in some awesome workouts here at Temecula HIT Fit! We have another great read on exercise technique! Lower body training is super important to developing strength and muscle in the quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves! Fellas, arm day can’t be everyday! Personally, training the lower body is my favorite! That’s why it’s vital that we stay injury free when performing certain lower body exercises. One of the most common lower body exercises along with the squat is the lunge! You can do the lunge in many ways: with dumbells, kettlebells, barbells or with your body weight. Lunges are one of the most common exercises that are performed incorrectly! So, here are some tips on how to do it the PROPER way!
- Correct Stride Length
A very common error in lunging is the length of the stride. This is referring to the distance between your feet when in a split stance. An important key factor to focus on is making sure your hips stay open. If your stride is too narrow, your hips will collapse, which is not what we want. If your stride is too wide, you are over reaching on your lunge and are hindering your range of motion! A good rule of thumb is to keep your hips stacked with your shoulders, while your front leg should be at a 90 degree angle when at the bottom lunge position.
- Correct Weight Displacement
A dangerous mistake we see with clients is incorrect weight displacement. This means that the weight of your body is not properly distributed to the correct areas of the body when performing the lunge. Having too much of your weight in front of you will place too much pressure on the joints, rather than the muscle. In order to achieve correct displacement, make sure you are not leaning too much forward or too much behind you. Leaning forwards places stress on the knee, while leaning back places stress on the lower back! The weight should be placed on the quad, hamstring and glute muscles, rather than damaging your joints!
- Correct Plane of Motion
Lastly, you want to make sure your body is moving in the correct plane of motion. In other words, when lunging forward, you should not be shooting all your weight forward, as this will cause the knee to travel too far in front of the foot. Instead once you have reached your split stance position, focus on lunging straight down from here in order to activate the desired muscles. You should not rely on forward momentum to complete your lunge, as over time this can cause complications on your tendons, ligaments and knee joints in the future! According to this article by Bodybuilding.com, you should always be able to draw a straight line from the top of your head to bottom knee!
As athletes, sometimes we don’t take a step back and think about how maintaining proper form on every single rep day after day is important for preventing injury in the future. Our coaches are here to make sure that our clients are staying safe and performing the exercises correctly! Our SEMI-PRIVATE training program allows our clients to spend more one on one time with our coaches so that they can stay injury free! If you have an existing injury or want to make sure you are maintaining proper joint health, check out our SEMI-PRIVATE training program at the link below and learn how to get started!