Monday, April 27, 2009

How Complex is Your Lunge?

The lunge has been regarded second to the squat by some as the best lower body exercise ever invented. If this is true, why is that? Not only is the lunge a great multi-joint exercise for the lower body, but it is also an exceptional closed chain exercise. A closed chain exercise typically “connects” the athlete to the ground and allows the body to use the ground as a lever system. The lunge allows the athlete to push the front leg downwards into the ground, which becomes its rigid lever for proper execution, whilst being a great power builder for locomotion.

However, the lunge is even more. With the front stationary lunge—where the front leg is the “working” and the back leg serves as a balance mechanism, we introduce other characteristics including: active stretch, mobility, strength, balance, and plantar-flexion. All these movements occur in a single rep—along with concentric and eccentric muscle actions. Sounds to good to be true for a single exercise, however, it is exactly why the lunge is a beneficial exercise when performed correctly.


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