First and most importantly, for those of you that read Friday’s post, I thought you might like to know that my workout shirt has been washed and I am now not quite as offensive as I used to be. My washer had its work cut out for it, but it got the job done. ( I know you all deeply care about this kind of thing.)
Every once in a while, I come across a new exercise or mobility drill that I completely fall in love with. The reverse lunge is one of those exercises. Before we get to the “how”, I want to give you a few reasons as to why this exercise rocks.
1. Increased proprioception. Proprioception is the body’s awareness of itself. It’s the reason you can walk without having to look at your feet. Unless you’re these guys:
It gives your body the ability to move through space and be aware of where it is in relation to its surroundings. Reverse lunges increase this which creates a bigger demand on the central nervous system, thus making them a more challenging exercise than their more common counterpart, regular lunges.
2. I have found reverse lunges to involve the glutes and hamstrings more than regular lunges. Being a quad (thigh) dominate society due to our constant sitting at work, at home and at the gym (think weight machines), I’m all for anything that helps people remember that they actually have a butt.
3. Reverse lunges are much more knee friendly than regular lunges. Lunges are a decelerative exercise. This is due to the fact that when you step forward with your foot and place it down to come into a lunge, you have to slow down your bodies momentum. This can place a good amount of force into the knee joint. Reverse lunges, on the other hand, are accelerative in nature. Since a reverse lunge has you stepping back, the lead leg (the one you drive off of) is focused more on explosive movement upwards, rather than slowing down forces as you make contact with the ground.
Here’s the video:
-Take a big step backwards, making sure to keep your torso upright.
-Once the back foot has come in contact with the ground, drive upwards through the heel of the front foot. Make sure you don’t bounce off of the back leg.
-Finish the movement with one leg. It is common for people to “sneak” the back leg in before the movement is complete. Don’t do it.
-Squeeze your butt tight at the top of the movement.
Try them out and let me know what you think!