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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Q&A: Lunging properly

Mike -

I have a problem when I lunge. Too often, my toes want to turn out - why does this happen?


First off, thanks for the question. I actually got a very similar question from one of my online clients, so I figured I'd address it here in the blog.

We know the gluteals (and in particular posterior glute medius) is often weak; this is really important when we are discussing frontal/transverse plane movements. Essentially, if your posterior glute medius isn't up to the task, you'll see an increase in adduction/internal rotation of the femur in single-leg exercises. In non-geek speak, your knee caves in.
To help improve your balance/stability, your body looks further down the kinetic chain. One of the primary lines of defense is to turn your toes/foot out, giving you a wider base of support. So while you'd think the issue was the foot, it's typically more of a hip problem.
If this is the issue you're suffering from, I'd incorporate either some x-band walks or band resisted clams into your program. These can be performed pre-workout, or even better still, immediately prior to the affected exercise. This will engage/facilitate the appropriate musculature in a lower level setting, and help it re-groove it's appropriate role in a motor integrated setting as well.
(Video clips can be found on my website if you are unfamiliar with the above exercises.)
Good luck and good training!
Stay strong


SG Human Performance said...

Great post Mike. I really do like the X band walk since it really gets all the stabilizing musculature involved. Keep up the good work!

Gerkin said...

I have a friend who's posture is atrocious. His knees cave when he's doing a bilateral squat and has the worst, fixed external rotation I've ever seen. Not to mention his sick kyphosis up in his T-spine.

So basically, this post seemed to help me know what's wrong with him.

Jason St Clair said...

Mike, would you look at the strength of the Vastus Medialis and adhesions or flexibility issues in the the Adductors as well in this problem,
or just keep your focus on the Posterior Glute Med weakness?

Mike Robertson said...

Jason -

I would definitely be looking at addessing the hip internal rotators as well. This could be via foam rolling, mobility drills, or static stretching.

Nice work!