Lunges are a unilateral (single-leg) movement. Unilateral exercises are important because they both diagnose (you’ll quickly notice if one side is stronger than the other) and rehabilitate muscle imbalances. And since reducing imbalances can reduce the risk of injury, you’ll want to include unilateral movements into your training to stay healthy and strong.
Set-Up: Start standing with your feet hip-width apart. Brace your core.
Execution: Step one leg forward (or back for a step-back lunge). Keep the heel of your forward leg down. Lower your torso until your back knee touches the ground. Keep the shin of your forward leg vertical. Step one foot to meet the other (either the front foot back for a stationary lunge or the back foot forward for a walking lunge). Complete the movement at full hip and knee extension. Your opposite leg begins the next lunge.
Points of Performance: To get a “good rep,” ensure the following:
– You start and finish the movement with full hip/knee extension
– Your trailing knee makes contact with the ground at the bottom of each lunge
– For walking lunges: you travel the required distance (check the WOD standards to see if there’s a required turn-around point)
Pro-Tip: No matter what kind of lunges are prescribed (dumbbell overhead walking lunges, barbell overhead walking lunges, unloaded lunges, front rack lunges, etc.) put on your knee sleeves prior to 3…2…1…GO! The extra padding helps make contact with the floor safer and more tolerable.