Just keep moving: Lunges
IT’S week three of our fitness feature with Sagicor Wellness Ambassador Shani McGraham Shirley, and we hope you’ve been enjoying the exercises and incorporating them in your work-out routine.
This week we will focus on getting those nice, strong, athletic legs you’ve always wanted, and lunges are one exercise that can help you achieve this.
A lunge is a gift from the ‘exercise god’ for strong legs.
This one movement can activate almost every muscle in your lower body. If you have ever seen Usain Bolt in the starting blocks right before the gun goes off, a person proposing on bended knees, or someone bent down to tie shoelaces, then you have an idea of what a lunge looks like.
A lunge is a compound, single-legged, body-weighted exercise that works your quads, glutes, hamstrings, hips, calves, abductors, and adductors — basically every part of your legs. There are multiple variations to this one exercise, and by mixing it up, you can zone in on targeted muscles.
To do a basic lunge, one must split their stance, placing one foot in front of the other (taking a very large step).
Let’s put this “step” into perspective. I am 5’2”, and a three-foot “step”, will but my body in the correct position — so step wide.
It is very important to remember these three points when lunging:
1. Your front knee must stay over your ankle.
2. Knees must point in the same direction as your toes.
3. Focus on the bending of your back knee, as though wanting to kneel to the floor.
Like any exercise, perfect execution will reap desired results, but once done incorrectly, it can result in negative issues and injury.
If you feel any discomfort in your knees, you are doing something wrong and need to adjust your movements or cease. With a properly executed lunge, you should feel your muscles burning but nothing in your joints.
If you want strong, defined, powerful legs, lunges are a most!
1. Engage your core. A strong core will improve your balance.
2. Keep your feet parallel.
3. Tuck your tail bone under (do not stick out your buttocks).
4. Ensure your front knee stays over your ankle.
5. Keep your chest upward.
6. Use a chair or railing for support if your balance is less than perfect.
1. Push your front knee over your toes.
2. Stick out your buttocks.
3. Bend forward.
4. Turn out your feet (the must stay parallel).
You are one lunge away from the legs of your dreams. Just keep moving!
Check out Shani McGraham-Shirley, CEO Yahsuh FitBox, and group and personal trainer, on Instagram at shani.fitness.lifestyle and on YouTube at Yahsuh Fitness .
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive