Exercises You Should Be Doing: KB Lateral Lunge with Pulse

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Some of you may recall an exercise I featured a year or two ago that I stole from Dan John called the Goblet Squat with Pulse.  For those who may need a gentle reminder you can click HERE to get the gist.

Similarly, today’s exercise takes the same “pulse” concept yet adds a slight modification in the form of a lateral lunge (and some pretty sweet techno in the background).

KB Lateral Lunge with Pulse

Who Did I Steal it From:  Well I guess by extension Dan John, but given I haven’t yet seen this tweak anywhere else on the interwebz, Cressey Performance is calling dibs on this one.


What Does It Do:  I love this exercise for people with short or stiff adductors for obvious reasons, but really this is a fantastic exercise for just about anyone as it gets them out of their comfort zone in the sagittal plane. Moreover, the pulse component adds a significant anti-flexion flavor into the mix that Ben & Jerry can’t touch, not to mention, by association, helps encourage people to maintain more t-spine extension which is never a bad thing.

Key Coaching Cues: First of all don’t be a hero and automatically reach for the 24 kg kettlebell, because that ain’t gonna happen. As far as weight selection goes, I’d start on the conservative side – the lighter the better.

One major point to dive into is how to perform a lateral lunge.  Many people make the mistake of stepping to the left or right and allowing their knee to translate too far forward over their toes.  Now I’m not one of those alarmist who feels that the knees should never go past the toes (try walking up a flight of stairs without that happening, or play a sport), but in this scenario I coach people to make their step/lunge to either side and to SIT BACK into the hip.

The knee is obviously going to come forward slightly, but the heel should stay DOWN and glued to the floor at all times. If anything, the tibia (lower leg) should stay a bit more vertical, but if you’re making an effort to sit back into the hip this shouldn’t be an issue.

Once in the bottom position, press the KB out in front of you until your arms are fully extended (elbows locked out), and pause for 1-2 second count.

Bring the KB back towards your torso, return back to the starting position and repeat for the desired amount of repetitions.

I generally shoot for anywhere from 6-8 reps per side.

For those who don’t have access to kettlebells, you should still be able to perform this exercise with a standard dumbbell.  Except in this case you’ll have to hold the DB with both hands wrapped around the handle.  It’s a bit more cumbersome, but doable.

And there you have it.  Try it today and let me know what you think!

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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