Fitness Tip of the Month: Lunges

There was a beautiful rainbow last night at the studio you guys. I just had to take a picture of it. It has nothing to do with this post, but I had to share it. Edited Rainbow

Okay, down to business.

The fitness tip of the month this month applies to lunges. Not my favorite exercise to do, but one that can be great for strengthening your lower body and practicing your balance. (As with all of the fitness information I provide here, you should always consult your physician before beginning an exercise program and never continue with an exercise if you are feeling pain, dizziness or nausea. No exercise works for every body, so this post is not meant to be a blanket recommendation that everyone do lunges.)

Okay, disclaimer done.

Now here we go with the info that will make your lunging experience easier  less wobbly, safer and more effective.

The narrower your base of support (i.e. the closer your feet are to one another), the less stable you are. You'll often hear trainers tell you to keep your feet hip-distance apart during exercises, especially during exercises such as squats. But they'll say it during upper body exercises too, because it's a foot position that gives you a solid base of support from which to work.

Something that happens often in lunges though is that people attempt to line up one foot directly in front of the other.

Not good. That's a difficult position in which to keep your balance, first of all. And, when I attempted to do lunges from that position they actually really bothered my knees. So double not good.

What you want to do is maintain that same hip- distance between your feet when you step backward or forward to lunge as you have in your pre-lunge stance. Like this...

IMG_1065(Incidentally, it is very tricky to take a picture of your own foot placement during lunges.)

So, when doing lunges start with your feet hip-distance apart and practice stepping directly forward or backward so that you maintain that same width between your feet before you drop down into the lunge.

I wrote a post about finding your hip-distance foot position, which you can read here.

If there are exercises that you'd like some advice on or tips for how to do them most effectively, leave them in the Comments section below.

Until next time...