Lunge Your Way To Stronger Legs!
The MedalMad Movement of the Month (MOM)
This month we are focusing on Lunges.
Regular strength training exercises can help with endurance, speed and injury prevention. Lunges help to strengthen key running muscles, the hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes, whilst stretching others such as hip flexors. This will help to lengthen your stride and improve single leg balance.
Bodyweight lunges are a great warm up exercise for runners. Before going on your next run try doing a few sets of 20 alternate leg forward lunges. Add weights to your lunges on a non-running day to further increase your strength. You may find that one leg is weaker than the other – when squatting your stronger leg will compensate for the weaker leg by taking most of the weight – lunges isolate the legs and force each leg to work harder, thus improving balance and stride.
There are several different types of lunge;
Travelling - moving forward whilst performing the exercise.
Stationary - remaining in one spot and lunge each leg in front or behind.
Forward – lunge with each leg in front of you one at a time.
Reverse- Lunge with alternate legs behind you (reduces stress to knee joint).
Hold dumbells or kettlebells in each hand to add weight and build strength if you wish.
A good lunge position will work your glutes, hips, butt, hamstrings quadriceps and calf muscles whilst also using your abdominal and back muscles as stabilizers.