Lunges are a terrific way to strengthen your legs and core while improving your balance. Unfortunately, many people avoid them because they feel unstable; wobbly lunges can contribute to pain in your hips, knees, and ankles.
You can prevent many of these annoyances by cleaning up your technique with these simple tips from Minnesota-based physical therapist Erika Mundinger, PT, DPT, OCS.
1. Take a 90/90 step. Aim for 90 degrees of flexion in both knees.
2. Keep your knee in line. Lunge with your knee directly in line with the middle toe of your lead leg to protect the joint.
3. Lunge proud. Aim to keep your shoulders stacked directly above your hips. (Tight hips can lead to excessive forward lean; check out “Fitness Fix: Improve Your Hip Mobility” for tips on improving hip mobility.)
4. Step broadly. “People tend to lunge like they are walking on a balance beam,” says Mundinger. If you lose your balance lunging, your stance is likely too narrow. Instead, think of your feet as being on side-by-side railroad ties.