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Letting Your Knees Travel Too Far Forward During Lung-Type Movements

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Lunges

Keep your knees behind the plane going straight up from your toes for knee safety.

Behind the Blunder
If you have healthy knees, this blunder might not apply now, but if you ignore this today, one day it might hit a nerve. Lunges, which used to be thought of as a female-driven exercise, are so popular and beneficial that they have been embraced by most males, and for good reason. Despite popular belief, the lunge is not just for the glutes, but it also blasts the quads and hamstrings, making it a great move for the entire lower leg. Whether you use just your bodyweight, dumbbells or a barbell across your back, the message is clear: Keep your front knee back and do not let it travel beyond the vertical plane of your toes. The sheering forces caused by the lunging motion can be fatal to the knees in the long run.

The Fix
If you find you let your knee travel too forward, try the split lunge for a few sets. Unlike the standard lunge in which you step forward and then press yourself back up to the starting position, with a split lunge, once you get into a lunge position you stay there. Practise the up-and-down motion of the lunge concentrating on keeping your front leg bent at 90° in the bottom position. This will help you remember that the entire leg is working in concert to perform the lunge. Although some trainers would disagree, the back leg is also hard at work because you have to press through the back leg to raise your body. After some split lunge practise, try the standard lunge, remembering to use both legs to control the entire sequence.

Start:
Stand erect with a dumbbell in each hand, arms out to your sides. Keep your head straight, chest up and abs tight.

Action:
Take a long step forward with one foot. Bend both knees to lower yourself, making sure your front knee does not pass your toes. Stop just short of your rear knee touching the floor and reverse direction, driving though the heel of your forward foot and the balls of the trailing foot to return to the start.

Leg Remedy: Dumbbell Lunges Corrected
Think “straight up and down” as opposed to “forward£. Once you have re-trained yourself to keep your forward knee back and you have realised that both legs help in raising the body, the last element is to imagine a string at the top of your head pulling you straight up to the ceiling on each rep. The up-and-down motion will provide an additional level of safety for the front knee while also helping you target the quads, hams and glutes. Finally, to help solve the problem, take a good, long stride. Many people suffer from knee problems during this move because they are not steeping our far enough.

https://veefitness.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/leg-blunders/
https://veefitness.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/lifitng-your-hips-off-the-pad-during-leg-presses/
https://veefitness.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/pointing-your-toes-excessively-inward-during-the-hack-squat-or-other-closed-chain-movement/

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Author: veefitness

A qualified REPS Level 3 Personal Trainer who is passionate about helping others to achieve their goals of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Also a qualified Level 1 football and cricket coach.

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