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


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.

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

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.

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Pull-upsThe pull-up targets the latissimus dorsi muscle found in the back. The illustration shows which other muscles the pull-up works on as well.

– Grasp a fixed overhead bar with a wide overhand grip.
– Hang freely from the bar with your arms fully extended and your ankles crossed behind you.
– Contract your lats to raise your chin to the bar.
– Concentrate on keeping your elbows out to your sides and pulling them down to your sides to lift yourself.
– Hold momentarily at the peak-contracted position before slowly lowering to the starting position.


Abs Routine

Here is a simple abs routine you can complete to help you get some great abs.

Decline Bench Crunch – 1 set, 15-30 reps
Supported Tuck Crunch – 1 set, 15-30 reps
Hip Thrusts – 1 set, 10-25 reps
Captain’s chair Leg Raise – 1 set, 15-35 reps
Knee-up – 1 set, 30-50 reps


Hip Thrusts

Here is an abs exercise and the correct way of performing it:

–          Lie faceup on a flat bench holding onto the sides for balance.

–          Bend your hips about 90 degrees, raising your legs straight in the air.

–          Contract your lower abs to lift your hips and glutes off the bench (the range of motion is just a few inches). Think of pushing your heels into the ceiling.

–          Lower under control and repeat for reps.

Note: The diagram above is a decline bench hip thrust.



–          Sit on the edge of a chair or flat bench leaning backward and extending your feet out in front of you, feet together.

–          Hold on to the sides of the bench for stability.

–          Crunch your lower abs to pull your knees into your chest at the same time as you lean forward slightly, squeezing your abs hard.

–          Kick your feet back out as you lean back slightly and repeat for reps.