A few months ago, I made this post on my Instagram about my rules for better lunges. A lot of people reached out and said they found it helpful, so I though I should make a more in depth post about the subject.
* Side note, if you are not following my Instagram you should because I post daily tips on different health and fitness topics.
Lunges get a bad rep at the gym for being hard on the knees. A lot of people ask me to create workouts with out lunges, because the exercise always hurts them. Lunges can be tough on the joints, if you do them wrong. If you do them right, they can be extremely effective and safe!
Today I am going to set things straight and give you my rules for better lunges.
Rule 1: Only do static or backward lunges
If you have knee problems, you should NEVER do forward-stepping lunges. This motion puts a lot of pressure on the knees. It is also difficult perform these lunges with proper form. If you regularly do my MFit workouts, you know that I am not a fan of the exercise. Static lunges and backward-stepping lunges are the better way to go.
Rule 2: Get your butt back and keep the weight in your heel
The reason I prefer doing backwards and static lunges is because it is easier to find the right body position during those variations. A lunge should feel very similar to a squat. In fact, from now think of a lunge as a single leg squat. As you step into the lunge, push your hips back and stick your butt out. When your legs are bent, keep your bodyweight in the front foots’ heel. Then as you straighten your legs drive that heel into the ground. If you do your lunges this way, you will feel your butt and the back of your leg. If you do not do them this way, you will feel your knees.
Rule 3: Let your chest drop forward slightly
You want to keep your chest over your front leg in a lunge. If you are completely upright, you’ll struggle to feel the right muscles. Shifting your chest forward will make it easier to keep your butt back, which will allow you to keep your weight in your heel! Everything is connected. If you have the right posture, everything else will fall into place. Use this image as your guide for proper lunge posture.
Rule 4: Foam rolling and muscle activation
If you are doing everything correctly, and you still feel your knees hurting, chances are your quads are just really tight. So, invest in a foam roller and spend more time warming up and activating your hamstring and butt muscles prior to doing lunges.
My 4-week Peach Plan can help you with this. Each workout video in that plan includes a lot of glute activation before the workout begins. Activating the muscles you want to feel and rolling out the muscles you don’t want to feel will help balance out your body and make your workouts more effective.