Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Technique Tuesday - Lunge

I love a good lunge, great for toning and building your bum IF done correctly.  I see many a person lunging incorrectly, knee going way over their front toe, most of their body weight being forced into the knee of their front leg and if you ask them where they can feel it you are more often than not going to get 'thighs' as the answer - learn to do it right and you will get a great workout for both your thighs AND bum.  Our bum gets lazy and our bodies are smart in that they will move in the easiest way possible sometimes even bypassing the muscles that we really want to get going so we have to 'think' about the muscles we want to fire until they automatically come to the party on their own.  Lunges can be a hard exercise to perfect when you are starting out but get it right and they are great!

Muscles worked: Glutes & Quads

There are many variations of lunges that you can use to challenge your body as you get fitter and stronger - let's start with a regular one and then we can look at the more difficult versions afterward.
  • Start with your feet just wider than hip width on what I like to call 'train racks' this will give you a good stable base.  If your feet are positioned as if on a tightrope you are likely to wobble and fall off
  • Chest up, shoulders down and an awareness through your TVA/core
  • Staying on those train tracks take a nice big step forwards and transfer most of your weight into the heel of your front foot
  • Bend at both knees and slowly lower down so that you back knee is hovering just off the ground
  • You are looking for about a 90degree angle at both knees and ensuring your front knee doesn't go way over your toes
From here drive through your heels (if you wiggle your toes your weight will shift    out of the toes and back into the heels)
  • Push through the heel - ACTIVATE THE GLUTES to bring you back to your start position
Lunges can be done by staying in the split stance position and moving slowly up and down or like in our photo's you can see that Amy is doing an alternate lunge where she will step back to the starting point in between each lunge and then step forwards with her opposite leg.
And if you want to get a little bit fruity and challenge yourself some more once you have mastered these lunges you could try introducing and elastic for resistance hooking it round your front leg (seen in the picture below) or you could try a box lunge as Mel is demonstrating in the pictures to the right.  There are also things like jumping lunges which can also increase intensity and challenge your body to move to the next level (remember not to jump if your pelvic floor isn't the best).

You should however be a little careful with lunges if you have suffered any kind of pelvic instability or pain throughout your pregnancy and/or afterward.  The hormone relaxin does exactly that - it relaxes the muscles and joints in your body, especially the pelvis, so that you can give birth more easily.  But this can lead to pain and instability in everyday life and during exercise also.  Performing an exercise such as a lunge which uses that split stance can challenge and put added pressure on an already unstable pelvis so it would be best to build up your core muscles to begin with and perform exercises such as squats which enable your weight to be distributed more evenly.

Thank you to this weeks wonderful models Amy and Mel

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

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