The Undervalued Lunge

by Joni Boyd, PhD, CSCS and Katy Milton, MS
Personal Training Quarterly May 2017
Vol 4, Issue 4


Learning to lunge correctly can strengthen the lower body musculature, improve core stability and balance, enhance hip flexibility, and increase functionality. There are a plethora of modifications and progressions to consider.

Regular participation in strength training provides a multitude of benefits, including increased muscular strength and power, decreased risk of injury, and improved activities of daily living (8,10). The lunge is an option for a lower body exercise that can help to achieve these benefits. The lunge is a staple unilateral exercise for the lower body that aims to improve strength and range of motion (ROM), which can potentially carryover to improving the ability to perform activities of daily living. Additionally, the lunge can be beneficial since it includes the integral “triple extension” of the hips, knees, and ankles. The utility of the lunge is often lost in its perceived difficulty and poorly performed technique. Several common errors occur in the performance of a lunge that can go unrecognized, even for experienced personal trainers, which will be discussed in this article. Additionally, there is also room for modification of the lunge and progressions, which the personal trainer may find useful for their clients.

This article originally appeared in Personal Training Quarterly (PTQ)—a quarterly publication for NSCA Members designed specifically for the personal trainer. Discover easy-to-read, research-based articles that take your training knowledge further with Nutrition, Programming, and Personal Business Development columns in each quarterly, electronic issue. Read more articles from PTQ »

About the author

Joni M. Boyd, PhD, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D

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Joni Boyd is an Assistant Professor of exercise science in the Department of Physical Education, Sport, and Human Performance at Winthrop University i ...

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