Simple Cue to Clean Up Your Lunge
There’s no question that lunges (and all of their infinite variations) have a ton of efficacy as well as have their place in any well-designed strength & conditioning program, which is why we utilize them quite a bit at Cressey Performance.
I don’t think I have to go into any great detail as to why performing single leg work is important. For that just go read any one of the bazillion-gazillion-cajillion articles that Ben Bruno has written on the topic….;o)
For those that need a bit of a primer or cajoling, though, the main benefit(s) include but aren’t limited to:
1. Improved athletic performance.
2. Improved core and hip stability.
3. Joint health.
4. Improved strength.
5. Reduced spinal loading.
6. Curing bad breath.
Yada, yada, yada….so on and so forth…..to name a few.
All that said, while people aren’t shy to include them as part of their weekly routine and reap their benefits (high five!), I have to say, many (and by “many” I mean – M.A.N.Y), really go out of their way to butcher technique.
For example, whenever I travel and have to grab a lift at a commercial gym I can’t help but observe other people training. I can’t help it – it’s the strength coach in me, and it’s pretty much second nature, kind of like putting on my right sock before my left, saying “bless you” after someone sneezes, or vomiting a little bit in my mouth every time I hear a story of Justin Bieber acting kind of douchey.
On one hand I have to give some people the benefit of the doubt. While I could be nit-picky, go all John Madden on them, bust out my X’s and O’s board, and break down everything they’re doing wrong, at least they’re doing something worthwhile and not curling in the squat rack.
On the other, and what really grinds my gears, is when I watch personal trainers allowing their clients to perform exercises with atrocious technique, act all cavalier, and don’t do anything to fix or adjust the problem(s).
And lunges rank high on the list in terms of those that tend to be the most “WTF is (s)he doing?” worthy.
Sure, I can sit here and discuss stride length, rounded shoulders, forward head posture, heels coming off the ground, knee valgus, or any number of other “offenses,” but today I want to share one simple, often overlooked, albeit very important, coaching cue that will undoubtedly help clean up one’s lunging technique.
And it pertains to locking down the rib cage.
The short video (1:23) below helps to clarify my thoughts while also demonstrating that when I wear my glasses I look really, really intelligent and obviously know what I’m talking about:
As a quick FYI: For those interested in more single leg badassery, I’d highly encourage you to check out Mike Robertsosn’s Single Leg Solution, which contains a ton of useful information from anatomy, how to train around injuries, exercise technique, and exercise progressions.