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If you’ve got knee pain you’re brave for reading this…
If you don’t have knee pain, you want to prevent it, bottom line.
Strengthening the lower body is a challenge if you have knee pain. Yet, strengthening the lower body is key if you want to increase your metabolism or gain strength to enjoy so many other activities more.
Lunges by no mean are the only way to work your lower body. However, lunges are one of my absolute favorite exercises for so many reasons. Here are a handful:
- They can be done with body weight only and still be very effective.
- There are so many variations that almost anyone can find a variation that works, or several that target weak links.
- You can discover very quickly an imbalance between your right and left sides.
- You can work your core while you’re lunging thanks to the balance involved.
- You can work your balance thanks to the balance involved.
- Lunges are the perfect blend of strength and mobility.
- They open the hips after hours of sitting daily many of us do.
Yet, there’s a problem. For many people, lunges cause knee pain. If you lack cartilage in your knees you may not be able to enjoy the benefits of lunges. But if you’ve not been told that’s your fate, the pain caused by lunges might just be avoidable — especially if you follow my positioning tips below…
Positioning is everything, so focus on these tips:
- Focus on the position of your knee over your heel. Keep it there so your lower leg looks like a table leg perfectly perpendicular to your foot.
- Before adding stepping into a lunge try a more easy to manage stationary lunge.
- Step back into a lunge instead of forward. Rear lunges just require you keep good position; you don’t have to decelerate when your knee is vulnerable.
- Keep your torso upright.
- Your back foot will ideally be flexed and your heel up off the floor.
- There may be a pain-free range of motion for you. Find it and stay above the depth that causes pain.
- Use a wall or back of a chair to help you stabilize if you need to when you’re starting.