Are You Making These Simple Mistakes When You Lunge?

Are You Making These Simple Mistakes When You Lunge?

Group Lunge

The lunge is a fantastic exercise for the lower body, in particular the muscles of the hip complex (gluteus maximus, hamstrings, quadriceps and adductors). However, as with many lower-extremity exercises they are often more difficult than they look and certainly more difficult to execute holding dumbbells or a weighted bar. This article outlines the 6 most commonly seen dysfunctions in our clinic.

Typical Dysfunctions Include:

- Excessive Ankle Pronation (pronation is normal and is when the ankle joint rolls inwards, flattening the arch of the foot; but too much can be an injury risk and cause compensatory movement patterns at the knee and hip)

- Knee Valgus (this is definitely not normal and can either be caused by excessive ankle pronation or poor glute (buttocks) activation; can be solely responsible for many chronic overuse injuries associated with running and cycling activities)

- Lateral Hip Sway (any deviation from the mid-line during squatting in most cases is because of previous injury compensation that was not addressed during the rehabilitation process; previous ankle sprains are a common culprit because most people never rehab after a sprain)

Lunge front (dysfunction)                Lunge front

- Excessive Forward Lean of the Torso (usually a subconscious attempt to off-load weight from the hip and thigh muscles because of weakness or poor muscle activation; an underlying cause of chronic shoulder pain and/or mid-spine issues)

- Decreased Range of Movement (often because of muscle tightness and/or joint stiffness; can also be because of a subconscious 'protective' role the body adopts to reduce pain)

Lunge side (dysfunction)                Lunge side

Movement dysfunctions are well documented in research to be the underlying cause for many chronic overuse injuries. If you suspect you present with any of the above dysfunctions don't ignore it, get it sorted before it manifests into a more serious problem.