If you already know us, you know by now how much we value functional and bodyweight exercises. This week’s tutorial proves that. We bring you the side lunge: a lower-body exercise that will develop leg strength and hip stability. Here is how to perform it and improve lower body strength for increased exercise and sports performance.
- The squat hold is a challenging isometric exercise that will develop lower body strength and core control.
- It can also be used both as a warm-up or cool-down exercise, as active recovery, or as a standalone exercise within any workout
- The exercise requires good ankle and hip mobility to perform it correctly.
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart; feet turned out slightly for comfort. Engage the core and set the shoulders.
- Step out to the side as far as you can comfortably. As you do, keep the torso upright and maintain a tight core for balance. Bend the knee and keep it over the toes. The stance leg should remain straight at all times.
- Pause for a moment before pushing off the bent leg, back to the start.
- Alternate from left to right for reps or time.
- Movements of daily life and sport follow predictable (and sometimes unpredictable) patterns of movement. Movement can occur in any direction – forwards, backwards, side to side, diagonally etc. Therefore, incorporating multi-directional movements into your workouts will keep you secure and stable when it comes to performing activities of daily living and sport.
- The side lunge offers a variation of the traditional forward (and backward) lunge. Not only will it further develop leg strength, but it will also greatly enhance lateral hip stability – an essential component of hip and low back health.
- This exercise requires a good range of motion at the ankle – which allows the knee to travel forwards over the toes. If ankle mobility is lacking, the hip will need to move back to balance the movement – potentially over-working the low back. With functional ankle mobility, you will be able to push off the floor using the more muscular leg and glute muscles.
- Finally, there is a significant contribution from the core muscles which serve to stabilize and balance the entire body. If you find yourself off balance as you push back, try engaging the core slightly more just before the push – this should help to stabilize you.