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How to Lunge - Set Up and Technique

Hey y’all! Here’s another edition of Thoughtful Thursday! This week we are continuing our mini series on strength training for runners and triathletes. This week’s blog post is all about the importance of incorporating the lunge exercise into your daily routine. This post will discuss why the lunge is important, how to perform it properly, and how to implement it into your daily routine.

First and foremost, why are lunges so important?

Lunges are a great exercise for endurance athletes in particular, because we perform mostly single limb activities. Running and biking are both single leg activities. Yes we use both legs, but we are really using one leg at a time, pushing down through it and then switching to the other leg, constantly going back and forth. That being said, the lunge is a great exercise because it forces us to put most of our weight through one of our legs while performing the exercise. It translates really well to both of our sports and allows us to train in a specific manner for both biking and running. Two, carrying dumbbells and other heavy objects while performing the lunge improves our grip strength. This is important because grip strength has been shown to be an indicator of overall health and fitness for the population in general. So while we are performing the lunge we are both improving our overall health and our sport specific strength. WIN. WIN. WIN.

Now how in the world do I set up for a lunge?

1. Get yourself a couple of dumbbells (no I am not talking about your training partners…) that weigh between 5-15 pounds.

2. Stand up nice and tall, pulling your belly button in toward your spine, putting yourself in a nice, tall posture.

3. Take a big step BACKWARDS. ( I prefer to start with a step back because I think it makes it easier to get into the lunge position).

4. From there, RECRUIT THE GLUTES and slowly lower yourself straight down into a lunge keeping your hip and knee in a good position (knee not past the toes and not falling to the inside)

5. Once at the bottom of the lunge push with your glutes and quads on your front leg and return to the starting position.

6. Complete the full number of repetitions for that set and then switch to the opposite leg.

How often should I implement the lunge into my training plan?

Like most other movements, the lunge is a motion that should be performed every time you strength train. For endurance athletes, I recommend strength training 1-2 times per week, performing 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions with 60-90 seconds rest between sets.

Well guys, that’s how you perform a lunge. If you liked this blog please share this out to someone who needs to hear this and make sure to watch the technique Tuesday video on proper form for lunges here:

For the 5 dynamic warm up exercises for runners click here:

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Until next time,


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