Focus On: Lunges

It is a gorgeous Saturday here. I can’t get enough of this awesome Fall weather! Makes mourning Summer a little easier for this Summer gal 😉

Fall has arrived

A little gym ranting though, today 😉

Probably the most common mistake I see done at the gym happens when a person attempts a lunge. There are some scary injuries just waiting to happen….so I really want to hone in on the mistakes and explain how to fix them so we’re not those *almost injured* exercisers. We want strong, fit bodies-not broken, injured bodies!

Focus On: Lunges

Lunges can be done using just body weight (and the exercise is hard enough to just do that!), or like biceps curls : with a barbell, using weighted plates, holding dumbbells, swinging kettle balls, stretching a resistance band, using TRX equipment, or done statically, walking, or isolated. Whew! That makes me tired just typing all that 😉 So there are NO excuses that lunges can’t be done!! (unless of course your doctor told you so.).

Static lunges:

  • Stand with the heels right outside of hips and the toes turned slightly outward.
  • Step one leg forward or back.
  • One foot should be in a kickstand (with the heel up), and the other foot stays planted.
  • Draw the knee of the kickstand-ed leg down toward the floor.
  • The bottom of a lunge is when the knee(s) angles at 90 degrees.

see the kickstand?--done in a mirror

Walking lunges:

  • Do all of the above but switch legs each time as you move across the floor.
  • Be aware of only allowing the knees to come to a ninety degree angle.

Weighted lunges:

  • Do regular static lunges using barbells, dumbbells, kettle balls, or weighted plates.
  • Add a bench or Bosu ball for increased difficulty.

Proper Form During Lunges:

  • Keep the chest lifted the entire time. Do NOT let your body dip forward as the knees bends <—this is a mistake I see often!
  • Remember the back knee does NOT need to reach the floor, this can cause injury.
  • Keep the toes of the front foot slightly turned out to increase the pressure in the glutes and hamstrings (a good thing!)
  • If you want to figure out the width of a lunge, kneel on the floor, see the 90 degree angle in your knees, and then stand up as you tuck the toes.
  • The movement of a lunge originates from the back knee as it bends down toward the floor–which makes the front leg bend (NOT vice versa!)
  • The weight should be split between the heel of the front foot and the toes of the kickstand foot.
  • If you can’t wiggle your toes in the front standing foot, re-shift your weight to the heel of that foot <—this will help avoid any knee injuries as well.
  • Never let your front knee come OVER your toes!
  • Make sure your stance is wide enough (this will help avoid injury to the knees!)
  • If you feel your body bowing forward, lift your chest up, tighten your abdominals, and sink down (not forward)!

weights can be held, chest lifted, front foot planted

And the above form corrections are only a smattering of what crazy things I’ve seen with lunges. There are seriously some dangerous things going on at gyms–so watch out and be careful! Let me know if you have any questions! Happy lifting :)

And with that, I am off to BodyPUMP! Wahoo release 79 :)

Have YOU ever done a lunge incorrectly and found out about it later?? Which of these *mistakes*  have you seen others do at the gym incorrectly?? Any fun weekend plans??

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  1. Oh boy, I’ve seen EVERY wrong lunge mistake out there – ha! It’s always something I’ve emphasized when I trained people because lunges are an awesome exercise, but only if you do them correctly.

    • I bet you have! There are some serious injuries that are happening in gyms everywhere….so I am so happy you spread the word to your clients :)

  2. caroline says:

    I don’t do lunges because I am scared of hurting my knees so this post was much appreciated!! Thanks for the useful info!

  3. AH the lunge…I hate them but love them all at the same time…I did a workout today (Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30) and had to do lunges…It was very challenging! I have bad knees so it’s important for me to keep the proper stance but I’m working on it still…

    You’re right…They are SO good for your body!

  4. I’m enjoying the site Lexi,

    Currently trying to get my girl a more interested into fitness so I’m “casually” leaving your site on the computer screen when I know she might be ready to get on it to hopefully help nudge her motivation wise 😉
    Sterling recently posted…Should You Take Pre-Workout Supplements: Pros And ConsMy Profile



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