In order for the body to function properly, the legs, hips and back must be strong, stable and flexible.
Lunges address all three of these body parts in one movement. Lower back and disc injuries are rampant, as arew knee injuries. A vast majority of these injuries stem from one of the following three issues: strength imbalances, instability and inflexibility, if not a combination of two or all of them at once!
A steady diet of lunges will, without question, improve strength, stability and flexibility and lower the possibility of related injuries.
Main joints involved are: ankle, knee and hip. Primary benefits are leg and hip strength, flexibility, co-ordination and balance.
Our exercise of the week is an advanced version of the classic forward lunge – Forward lunge with medicine ball rotation. By adding in the rotation and load of the resistance ball, your core is worked much harder during the movement and extra work is placed upon stabilizing muscles in the lower body.
We love this exercise so much, we always teach it on our fitness instructor courses!
Muscles used: lower body
- gluteus maximus
- vastus lateralis
- vastus medialis
- vastus intermedius
- biceps femoris
- rectus femoris
- adductor magnus
- tibialis anterior
muscles used: upper body
- rectus abdominis
- transversus abdominis
- serratus anterior
- obliques externus
- pectoralis major
- pectoralis minor
- anterior deltoid
- medial deltoid
- biceps brachii
- triceps brachii
Stand with your feet close together, holding the medicine ball out at chest height with palms facing each other and a slight bend at the elbow.
Keeping your head up and spine in a neutral position at all times, step forward bending your front knee to a 90-degree angle and dropping your front thigh until it is parallel to the ground. Your back knee drops straight down behind you, so that you’re balancing on the toes of your back foot, to create a 90-degree angle at the knee joint and a straight line from your spine through your bottom knee.
During this stepping out process, simultaneously rotate your trunk to move the ball across your body 45-degrees towards your front leg, keeping arms extended at ball at chest height.
Return to the starting position by pushing off your front foot and elevating your back leg, whilst rotating your trunk (and the ball) back to the center line. Once back to standing, repeat with the other leg and rotate the ball towards this lead leg.
- Keeping your chest high, core braced and back upright (try not to lean forward during lunge)
- Evenly distribute your weight over both legs
- Raising the heel of your front foot of the ground or rotating your hips
We hope you enjoy this exercise!