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Tuesdays Training Tip - Buns of Steel

Lateral Lunges are a fantastic addition to your leg routine

The lateral lunge is a lower-body strength and mobility exercise. It is an effective exercise for improving strength and stability in the knees, hips and ankles. The primary muscles utilized in a lateral lunge are the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, adductors and abductors. The lateral lunge requires both strength in these muscles as well as a great deal of mobility in the hip joints.

Technique
Position your feet on the floor so they’re hip-width apart with your toes pointed directly forward. Lift your right leg and step to the side. Once your foot is fully planted, push your hips back and bend your right knee to lower into a lunge. Descend until your right thigh is about parallel to the floor, then extend your hips and knee to come back up. Return your right foot to the starting position and then perform the next repetition, this time stepping to the side with your left foot. Continue back and forth until you complete all of your desired repetitions.

Technique variation
As you step to the side turn your foot out at 45 degrees, as you bend your knee ensure that it follows the line of the foot. This outward rotation will work your glutes in a way that other forward moving leg exercises don't.

Common Mistakes
When you’re lowering into a lunge, your knee should never travel forward beyond the line of your toe. If it does, you place an excess amount of stress on your knee joint. To avoid this problem, initiate the lunge by first pushing your hips back and then bending your knees, your knee should point in the same direction as your foot. Don't let your back collapse as you lower into the lunge. To keep your spine safe, your back should remain straight and your head up throughout the exercise.

Weights
Increase the intensity of the lateral lunge by incorporating a weighted barbell or a dumbbell. To use a barbell, place it on the back of your upper shoulders. Grip the bar with both hands on either side of your shoulders to keep it in place. If you're using a dumbbell, hold in each  the opposite hand to the leg you are lunging on to, with your arm hanging down by your side, as you move to the side allow the dumbell to move into the area between your legs. If you have access to a powerbag you can take this exercise to a new level with the technique variation, place the powerbag on the opposite shoulder and twist towards the lunging leg as you lower.

Good luck and if used regularly you'll soon be showing off your 'buns of steel'

1 Comment to Tuesdays Training Tip - Buns of Steel:

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Maya Clayton on 05 August 2015 11:17
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