I am a huge proponent of lunging. Unilateral movement is a terrific way to even out discrepancies you may have on one side versus the other. There are a few key points that I want to discuss when it comes to lunging.
The first is the front or back lunge dilemma. People always ask which is better. The conversation should not be focused on better or worse. They are just different. If we think about loading of the hip, the lunge to the rear begins with a loaded hip and the lunge to the front begins and then the hip is loaded.
Both movements consist of the foot in front having pressure in the entire foot, the athlete’s knee placed over the laces of the shoe, and the torso upright. The issue we run into is how we get there. If the body is moving forward as in a lunge to the front, the tendency is for the athlete to get forward on the ball of their foot. This is problematic especially with newer athletes. As most of the population is quad dominant, this further moves this needle increasing chances of dysfunction in the knee. As the knee goes further forward the weight distribution moves to the ball of the foot.
In the case of the reverse lunge the athlete begins on the leg that is going to take the load. In this case directing the knee into the preferred position over the laces is much easier. Maintaining balance and equal pressure in the foot is a much more palatable task. Tinkering with the distance of the step will allow you to focus more on the posterior chain (longer stride).
The lunge is a fantastic movement to bring up weaknesses in the leg. Since most of us are dominant in our anterior chain (front side of our body), it is a reasonable assumption that lunging is very beneficial for our posterior chain (back side of our body). Hence doing the version that allows us to target in on this area is probably a better choice for our training.
Either way that you lunge, make sure you are doing them. There is nothing quite like feeling your legs are strong. Remember that a lunge is meant to compliment your squat. They allow us to increase mobility, they allow us to work on our weak points, they allow us to work on our stability, and they just make you a better person. Have your knee over your laces, have pressure in your whole foot, keep your chest up, and lightly tap your back knee on the ground. Try both ways and see which you prefer. Respond in the comments.
Max Bupees to a 6″ Target
-Rest 3 min-
Max Thrusters (95/65)
-Rest 3 min-
100 Double Unders
Max Kettlebell Swings (70/53)