Foundational Movement Series: LUNGING

Posted by Jane Diack on

This week we explore the sixth foundational movement in the series, Lunging

The lunge is one of the better exercises for incorporating a high level of muscle activity in the gluteal muscles,quadriceps and hamstrings. In addition to being highly effective, the lunge is also a great functional exercise. It helps to assist with our walking patterns while improving increased balance as well as core stabilization and posture.

It is an essential building block of many more complex movement sequences and is an essential component for most dynamic sports and activities.

Teaching a client the lunge in the water is much easier and safer than on land because of the supportive properties. Starting with stationary split lunges can assist with pattern and form and then the client can move to a more dynamic forward lunge.

Emphasize proper knee alignment throughout the movement. The knee should track over second toe without caving in or going out with each step. Make sure that the front knee does not move too far forward over the toes. The weight on the front foot should remain primarily on the heel. The back heel can move off the ground but make sure the back leg stays in alignment and does not rotate externally.

The client should demonstrate a good upright posture with good core stability.

Common compensations are increased forward knee flexion, increased medial knee collapse, increased external rotation of trailing leg as well as increased forward crouched posture.

In my experience it will take a few sessions before the client is able to get the correct pattern before increasing the amount of intensity.

Remember Pattern and Posture Before Intensity.

There are many variations of the traditional lunge and can be performed in multiple directions with multiple types of devices at multiple speeds.

Forward Lunge:


In standing position, Take a large step forward in lunge position. Keep pressure on heel and core and buttocks tight. Return to start position. Alternate legs.


  • Take Large Step Forward
  • Opposite Arm and Leg Motion
  • Back Leg Slightly Bent
  • Good Upright Posture

Possible Compensations:

  • Increased Knee Flexion
  • Knees Over Toes
  • Crouched Posture

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