reverse lunges are the bomb

I often joke with my patients about how much I love reverse lunges.

Knee, hip, or back pain? You need some reverse lunges.

Headache? Malaise? Dry mouth? Okay, maybe not...

But if I had to pick one resistance exercise to cover a host of orthopedic issues, it would be lunges done backwards.

Here's why:

They're a single leg movement that inherently work the stabilizing muscles of the entire lower extremity while "teaching" the brain to balance.

They fight back against chairs! All of us are droop shouldered, flex hipped, chronic over-sitters. Proper reverse lunges give a nice stretch to the hip flexors while making you pull your thoracic spine and shoulder blades back into good posture.

They're knee friendly. This is critical! Reverse lunges cause far less tibiofemoral shear and patellofemoral joint reaction force than squats and forward lunges. This is a fancy way of saying they allow you to work the hip and thigh muscles brutally hard while minimizing strain to the areas that commonly take a beating.

If you try squatting or lunging with weak trunk or hips, inflexible hips, or tight ankles, your knees will certainly moan, often because they are forced into a knee dominant movement pattern.

They facilitate a hip dominant movement patterns. As ground zero to the most powerful muscles and longest levers in the entire body, knees lend themselves to numerous wear and tear issues.

"They train the core."
It's easier to see the entire lower extremity and correct any abberant movements in the entire kinetic chain (foot, ankle, knee, and hip working together).

They train the core. The core and hip muscles must work to stabilize the spine while the hips moves, especially when you add a little resistance. This is far more functional, effective, efficient, and safe than thousands of cycles of crunching your ribs toward your pelvis or that ridiculous thing where you hold a dumbbell in one hand and do standing side bends.

No gear! It's just you and gravity, baby. Effective hard work never came so easy. To add resistance at home, hold on to some dumbbells, that ab crunch machine you never use, gallons of water, your pet, kid, house plant, or your choice of random object. Yes, your shoulder muscles will burn if they're weak.

With all this for the price of...that, what are you waiting for?

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