India, founder of Chukka Wellness has been a Personal Trainer for 7 years and regularly encounters people in the gym performing exercises incorrectly. This can inhibit not only progression in training but also increase the risk of injury later on in life.
Over the next couple of months, Chukka Wellness will provide coaching points on common exercises that are usually found in the standard training program and that can easily be performed incorrectly.
This month we will be discussing the Lunge as many people can suffer knee and lower back injuries from performing this exercise incorrectly.
How to Perform the Perfect Lunge
The lunge should be part of a rider’s training programme as it strengthens the glutes & legs and helps to stabilise the hip joint – which is required for when you stand up out of the saddle!
· Lunging with the feet too far away from each other
· Not lunging low enough to activate the glutes
· Not engaging the core
· Over-extending through the lower back
· Letting the front knee go beyond the foot and so adding unwanted pressure to the knee joint
Now let’s run through the correct coaching points.
1. Start with a pelvic tilt to engage your abdominals
2. Keep the shoulders back & down, stand tall keeping a neutral spine alignment.
3. Take a step forward and drop the knees down to a 90 degree bend (if you cannot create this angle bring your feet closer together)
4. Push back off the front foot using your whole foot not just the toes (you should feel your glutes and leg muscles contract)
5. Finish the lunge by bringing the feet back together in a standing position
*Start practicing the correct technique using just your body weight and as you get stronger, feel free to add a barbell or some dumbbells to the exercise.
To monitor progression, see how long you can hold the bottom phase of the lunge for.
Re-test every 4 weeks!