Week Two, Day Three: Standing Lunge
The infamous lunge – a man’s balance nemesis and a lady’s backside best friend. Why every high school and collegiate athlete isn’t doing lunges as part of their training I do not know. I do know, however, that the lunge is one of the best moves you can do to strengthen the lower body and train for functional fitness. ‘Functional’ is a term we use when an exercise simulates an action one might do in everyday life, you know, like ‘lunging’ to pick up the newspaper, pull a weed, or plug in the computer.
Try doing 10-12 reps on one leg and then switch to the other leg. Two to three sets of each leg on a regular basis will soon have you on your way to being a butt model for your favorite pair of jeans!
Start Position: Stand with the feet hip width apart and take a big step forward. Make sure your feet are not in a straight ‘tightrope’ line. Imagine a string attached to your chest lifting you up to the sky. Inhale.
Lunge: Bend both knees and allow the tailbone to sink toward the ground. Keep the head and chest lifted. Imagine a steel rod in your spine keeping your back straight. Do not allow the front knee to move in front of the toes. Drive the front foot into the ground and push yourself up as you exhale.
*Modification for painful knees: It isn’t necessary to drop into a low lunge or feel knee pain. Move within a range of motion that is comfortable and pain-free. You can lunge 2 inches and still be effective.