(da-dum-dum). Thank you, I’ll be playing by the treadmill all week!
(well didn’t that title sound a joke?)
The lunge is NOT one of my favorite exercises. For a long time before and after my foot surgery, I could not do it. When you cannot bend a foot, the lunge ain’t in your exercise repertoire.
But the lunge is one of important exercises to do especially if you don’t like it. Yes, it works the legs and butt, but more important (and why don’t more people mention this?) the lunge develop core strength and balance.
Like when an old(er) woman mis-steps on uneven pavement. If she has a sense of balance and some core strength, chances are she can recover before she falls over, twisting from the unevenness, breaking a hip. I dislike lunges, but I dislike the idea of being out of commission from a broken hip more.
Doing my lunges NOW, I hope, is another move to prevent that broken hip later. You can take all the calcium pills your little heart desires, but if you lack balance (and so many of you claim you do), that broken hip is standing on your horizon waiting for you.
Start simple. Stand upright with your feet about shoulder width apart. Extend your right foot forward, (just a little more.. trust me) resting the heel on the floor. Keep your weight back on the left leg for a second. Then easily flatten the right foot and shift your weight so it’s distributed on both feet, Lower yourself down, both legs trying for a 90 degree bend, making sure your right knee never extends beyond your right foot.
Now decide. Push forward with left leg and straighten up over your right. Or push with your right leg and move backward and up over your left. You can “walk” a set of lunges forward. I wouldn’t walk backward without somebody to watching out for me, because I’d likely walk into a weight machine, or worse, trip over someone. And those are ugly bruises to have to explain.
You can add weights when it gets easy, balancing them on your shoulders. Or use a medicine ball held out in front of you, then twist to one side when you’re down in the lunge. TALK ABOUT CHALLENGING YOUR BALANCE!
You can shake this move up about 10 ways from Sunday, and not particularly like any one. But eventually you’ll notice that you wobble less while doing them. That the muscles in your inner thighs and pelvic floor and abdomen are stabilizing you. You’re gaining that functional balance.
So grouse about it, but give it a go. Remember when you’re working out to occasionally take the lunge.