The Truth About Lunges





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Published on Nov 29, 2007

Most beginners and overweight people should NOT be doing lunges. Get your FREE 30-minute (no lunge) fat burning workout here:

Today you're going to discover how to do lunges, but first, lets look at a big pet-peeve of mine in terms of program design. The thing that bugs me is that trainers tell everyone to do lunges, but most people have terrible form.

So overall, I'd say lunges are the most over-rated exercise in your program. You need to learn how to do them correctly, so today you'll also get a good lesson on lower body training. So, we will look at split squats and lunges. Specifically, when to use them, what to start with, and how to progress.

A pet peeve of mine is seeing trainers take beginners through a series of lunges when really they should have no business doing lunges in the first place.

A lunge is a very difficult exercise that requires not only a lot of coordination, but a good deal of lower body strength as well, both of which beginners or overweight individuals tend to lack. On top of that, many overweight individuals have knee problems so performing lunges only intensifies the pain.

So when I see trainers taking these individuals through a series of lunges along with giving them weights before they can even perform the exercise properly you can imagine how irked I get.

Instead of lunges, what I like to do is have people start with split squats. A split squat is really just a stationary lunge. So to get in position; place one leg in front and one behind, drop your hips straight down and then drive back up. The great thing about this exercise is you can do it with assistance by using a rail or a bar to hold onto.

For a beginner, by performing the split squat with assistance will improve your form as well as help you to discover which muscles are being worked. So start with a split squat using something to help you balance, and then progress to just using your bodyweight to perform the exercise, and then you can move onto dumbbells or a medicine ball.

If you are going to do lunges in your workouts, then I have a 3-step progression I recommend for beginners. To start, instead of doing forward lunges, do reverse lunges.

This exercise is a little bit easier. So, for the reverse lunge, your front leg stays stationary, while your other leg slides back and you drop straight down. Return back to original position and repeat. Once all repetitions have been done for one side, then you can switch legs.

After you have mastered the reverse lunge, you can now attempt the forward lunge. So step out a little more than a normal step, get a nice plant with your front foot, drop straight down, and then push back up to the start position.

Your knee isn't going to explode if you happen to go past your toes on the way down, but you have an increased chance of losing your balance, and if you have knee problems, then you don't want to overload the joint. The further you go out with that foot, the more stress that gets placed on that knee.

And lastly, we can then move on to diagonal lunges. To perform this exercise, step out at a 45 degree angle, keep your toe pointing forward, and then drive back up. For the athletes and individuals who are comfortable with this exercise, you can really step out at an angle and get a strong stretch and a nice range of motion.

So that is the split squat to the lunge progression. Remember to be conservative. And thats how to do lunges and split squats, properly.

Most beginners and overweight people should NOT be doing lunges. Get your FREE 30-minute (no lunge) fat burning workout here:


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