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How To Do A Perfect Front & Side Lunge

Updated: Apr 27

Lunges are one of the best exercises for the legs, but unfortunately most people struggle with this exercise or have pain when completing this movement. I'm going to teach you several quick and simple tips to drastically improve and perfect your lunges. I highly recommend using a mirror or even your camera on your phone whenever possible for better results and external feedback to improve and master your lunges.

How To Do A Perfect Front Lunge

Start By Lining Your Feet Up Straight and Hips Width Apart

This first step is important because if you start off too wide or narrow before stepping out into a lunge, your hips, knees and feet will immediately be out of alignment before even completing your first repetition. Lunges are essentially a split squat and symmetrical alignment from your feet to your hips is setting yourself up to have your weight more evenly distributed between your muscles and less misalignment and pressure on your joints.

Step Out with Your Feet in a Straight Line Far Enough That Your Back Foots Heel is Elevated, but Not Too Far You Can't Step Back in Control

This second step helps to ensure you are long enough that when you sink down into a lunge that your heel in front stays flat and your knee doesn't hinge forward over your front toes. Also, keeping your feet hips width apart allows for weight to be evenly distributed between your hips and thighs. Also, your knee is a hinge joint and even though it can deviate or track in or out, its best to keep it straight whenever possible during an exercise or movement to reduce stress on the joint and muscles around the joint.

When sinking down into a lunge, slowly drop or lower down until your calf and ankle are parallel to the ground

You do not want your knee to go all the way to the ground or bounce off the ground. This important so you don't one break your patella or knee cap and injure it. Second reason is to reduce stress on foot and ankle over extending both and putting more pressure in the ball of your foot than necessary.

Keep your head and upper body level and upright, don't lean forward

Most people want to lean forward, when dropping down into a lunge. This forces you to shift your weight forward pushing more weight into your patella/knee cap increasing pressure and strain on the knee and causing the front heel to elevate and lose stability. By keeping yourself upright will help you keep the weight concentrated in your muscles and reduce the stress and risk of injury to your hip, knees, & ankles. If you need an assist to hold yourself upright to do this correctly, then do it. You can use a wall, bench, machine, or foam roller to name a few to steady yourself and perform the move properly until you are able to do a lunge unassisted.

Push straight up first before stepping back to neutral position

While most people when doing a lunge want to push up and back in the same movement, this will force you to push your weight forward stressing your patella/knee cap and heel to elevate potentially injuring yourself.

How To Do A Side Lunge

Next lunges we will cover will be the side lunges which most people don't do, but they should incorporate into their fitness routine and workouts, especially if they are doing any sports with a lot of lateral movements such as tennis, basketball, hockey, skiing, baseball, and the list goes on.

Start with Your Feet Hips Width Apart and Toes Facing Straight Ahead

This is a good base and reminder to keep your feet straight before stepping out into your side lunges.

Step Laterally to Your Side with your Feet Straight and Just Slightly Wider Than Hips Width Apart

Most people when going to do a side lunge, tend to either go to far out forcing their feet and knees to buckle out putting unnecessary pressure on their knees and ankles risking injury. When stepping out it is extremely important to keep your feet and knees straight and lined up on parallel line to your base foot before sinking down into your side lunge.

When dropping down into your side lunge, make sure your knee and foot stay straight and your base knee and foot stays straight stretching your inner thigh

When sinking down into your side lunges your foot your stepped out with and knee should be pointing straight like your are doing a single leg squat with that leg. Also, make sure you drop your butt down and back to engage your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps more and keep you from shifting weight into your knee.

Push straight up first before stepping back to neutral or starting position

While most people when doing a side lunge want to push up and back in the same movement, this will force you to push your weight forward stressing your patella/knee cap and awkward pressure in the ankle which increases chances of injuring your ankle, foot, knee, hip and even back.

I hope you enjoyed the tips on how to complete a perfect lunges. Please follow @BodyByDaveFtiness & share this post on social media, email it to friends & family, comment below with any additional questions you may have & subscribe below to receive more helpful health & fitness tips and tricks straight to your inbox!


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