Training21st August 2017
Tutorial: Suspended Lunge
WHATThe suspended lunge is a progression of the regular lunge. This variation targets the entire leg, including calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes. In this exercise, the rear leg is suspended on a trapeze bar which places further demands on strength, balance and control.
- Take a step forward and place the rear foot on the bar (either the top of the foot, or ball of foot).
- Keep the back straight and engage the core.
- Lunge with the front leg, under control – as you do so, bend at the hips, not the spine; use the arms to balance, if needed.
- Repeat for reps or time, then switch legs.
- As a tip, think about engaging the entire leg, from the big toe up to the low back – this will connect you with the ground and improve balance.
- As the movement becomes easier, try adding weight (via dumbbells, kettlebells) or simply increase the reps to build endurance; as an additional core challenge, hold a weight in one hand only.
- Lunging or stepping is a fundamental human movement pattern that allows us to move effectively from the ground to standing. From a childhood development perspective, it was an important movement milestone for upright movement.
- As a functional movement, it’s an alternative to squatting or bending that should be mastered – this can be especially useful when back stability is weak or compromised, or when squatting or bending cannot be performed.
- The suspended leg increases the balance demand, which consequently increases leg muscle activation to a higher degree. This means less weight yet high levels of adaptation.
- The suspended lunge exercise is great for sports conditioning, particularly those involving single leg positions; it can also be used as a progressive rehabilitation exercise to rebuild balance, stability and control, following injury.
- Perfect for those looking to develop functional leg strength without using free weights – making it ideal for use within high intensity circuits.