Good technique is often referred to as building a solid foundation, and the metaphor couldn’t be more apt for lunges, as the better your form is, the better your balance will be, the more muscles you will engage, and the more you will be maximizing the exercise, and the overall workout. Let’s learn the basics of a proper lunge.
Common Lunge Errors
Lunges are incredibly common, but very often done incorrectly. The two most common errors we see are:
- Poor posture via hunched shoulders and torso too far forward, instead of naturally slightly arched.
- Bad knee placement when the stride is too short a your knee reaches past your toes
See these errors in the improper example below: slumped shoulders, body leaning/sinking forward, and weight on the back toe, instead of the ball of the back foot.
The good news is a few simple tips can correct all of these common errors.
Proper Lunge Form
When descending into a lunge, the first thing to be aware of is that you are taking a long enough stride so that your knees are behind your toes during the entire lunge. You must step a little further that you normally would when walking to ensure your knee will be behind your toes the entire time.
Naturally when we lunge, most of us naturally lean forward too much and end up sinking our chest slightly forward. Instead, focus on keeping a straight back, with your head facing forward. Glance in the mirror to your side, to see if you’re doing it right!
After setting up your correct form, sink into your lunge. You want the back knee to be within 2-4 inches of the ground. The deeper you lunge, the more muscles you engage, and the better you’ll benefit from the exercise.
Squeeze Your Glutes
Lastly, squeeze those butt muscles at the bottom of the movement, before you start to push upward. Make sure to also use the ball of the back foot and the heel of the front foot equally, upon ascension.
When you use all of the techniques your lunge should look like this:
Proper Lunge for: straight upper torso, centered weight, and proper use of the back ball of the foot to assist the movement.
When lunges are done properly, it can feel much different and be 100 times more effective. Give it a go!
Photo credit: Lululemon Athletica