Lunges

A strength training exercise for the quads, hamstrings, and glutes

Tags: high school, stretches & strength, strength training

 

Instructions:

  1. Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Step 2-3 feet forward with one foot and lower into a lunge position.
  3. Hold for 1-2 seconds.
  4. Pushing off the front foot, return to a neutral standing position.
  5. Repeat the lunge, leading with the opposite foot.
  6. In addition to lunging in place, you can also do lunges down a straightaway.

Performance Points:

  • In lunge position, the front knee should be bent at about a 90 degree angle while the back knee angle hovers between 90 and 120 degrees.
  • Keep the back straight and the shoulders over hips.
  • Do not let the hips or torso twist or drop to one side.
  • Tighten the core muscles.
  • Point the toes and knees forward.
  • Keep the front knee over the ankle, not the toes. If the knee is too far forward slide the hips back or take longer steps.
  • If the angle of the front knee is much greater than 90 degrees drop the hips lower or take smaller steps.
  • Adjust the angle of both knees to as close to 90 degrees as possible, but don't overstrain.

Training Specifics:

Duration / Reps:

  • Hold each lunge for 1-2 seconds
  • Beginners: 1-2 sets of 5-10 lunges per leg
  • Experienced Athletes: 3-5 sets of 10-15 lunges per leg

When:

  • Before the main workout, or
  • As a station in a circuit training session (as the main workout early in the training season)

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the quads, hamstrings, and glutes which absorb the forces of impact upon landing and prevent leg collapse. Leg collapse is an inefficiency in which the knees and hips sink excessively as the feet strike the ground.
  • The quads, hamstrings, and glutes also work to generate the forces for take-off and leg swing so strengthening them creates a longer, more powerful, and faster running stride.

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