All-important Tips on How to Progress
Progressing the difficulty of any exercise is the key to on-going, long-term fitness success. The lunge lends itself to creative progression.
This week I’ll take you through the basic, intermediate, advanced and super-advanced versions of the lunge. Start with the easier ones and then progress as you become more competent.
• 2 balance poles – use the poles for balance and to help guide you through the movement.
• 1 balance pole – Hold the pole in the hand opposite to your front foot
• Bodyweight – no poles, body upright and hands by your side
• Unstable – front foot on a bosu, instability disc or at home you could use an old pillow
• Dumbbell or medicine ball held under chin
• Two dumbbells held at shoulder height
• One dumbbell held by side, in hand opposite to lead leg
• One dumbbell held above head, in hand opposite to lead leg
Advanced (moving lunges)
• Forward and reverse lunge combo
a) Right leg forward lunge, followed by right leg backward lunge (the stress is distributed between both legs)
b) Left leg forward lunge, followed by right leg backward lunge (there is a double stress on the left leg)
• Alternating forward lunges
a) Bring your feet together after each forward lunge to recover your balance
b) As the back leg comes out of the lunge, swing it up to a crane position (karate kid style!) and pause, standing on one foot, until you’re ready for the next forward lunge.
c) Continuously moving forward lunges (walking lunge)
• Jumping lunge – perform a lunge but jump at the end of the up-phase and whilst airborne switch feet so you other foot is now the forward lunging leg.
• Jumping lunge with weight – these hurt bad enough without a weight so don’t get too cocky with the weight