Lunges and split squats are a great unilateral exercises - they improve balance, coordination, and help fix muscular imbalances. Aaaaaaaand last but not least, they help build muscle. What’s not to love, right?!
If lunges and split squats are in your program (and we sincerely hope they are), we want to make sure you're doing them correctly.
And just for the sake of clarity: lunge = stepping forward with each rep, split squat = feet stay in the same place for all reps.
Avoid these 4 things and you'll be lunging and split squatting like a champ!
1.Torso too upright
You actually want to load your front hip. Remember - this is a unilateral exercise, so both legs should NOT be loaded equally!
- As you start to lower yourself, lean forward slightly (don't shift your hips forward OR round your back)
- Don't forget to brace your core and maintain lumbar extension. Bonus - bracing will help keep you from rounding your back!
2. Shifting hips forward
Your hips need to stay in the same plane. In other words, they need to go straight down and straight up!
- Your front shin angle should be close to perpendicular and the majority of the weight should be at the back of your arch on your front foot.
- Don’t lift your toes - your entire foot on your front leg should maintain contact with the floor.
3. Rear leg is too straight
The knee of your rear leg should be bent and should almost touch the floor.
- Make sure you don't take too long a stride - at the bottom of the movement, you'll have close to a 90-degree bend in both legs!
- The HEEL of your REAR leg should not be in contact with the floor - you need to be on the ball of your foot (this will help you load your front hip).
4. walking a tight rope
Split squats and lunges are tough enough without putting one foot directly in front of the other!
- Start with your feet hip width apart and maintain that same distance when stepping forward or backward. (But don't exaggerate this and step forward AND sideways at the same time!)
- Make sure your toes are pointed straight ahead