Lunges and split squats (a static lunge) are part of the core exercises that every sports rehabilitator, personal trainer, physiotherapist and sports coach (to name a few!) use.
So why don’t we ensure that the muscles are being worked in balance thus guaranteeing that we get our client to their goals quickly and safely??
Well at FITWORXS we are a little obsessed with technique and one of the main things to watch out for in this exercise is our pelvic position!
Have you checked that your client is in a neutrally aligned pelvic position? And have taught them how to check themselves?
If you haven’t then they may be exacerbating a muscular imbalance problem that is some of the cause of their problems!
In a client with an anteriorly tilted pelvis you may deduce that they have tight quadriceps (particularly rec fem) and weaker gluteals and potentially hamstrings; now if we allow a client to repetitively lunge in this position we are exaggerating the use of the anterior chain (quads) and neglecting the posterior chain (gluts) probably not helping them at all…?
See the pic below (sorry for the arm in the way!) for the curve of the lower back = anterior pelvic tilt.
It may look like I’m in hip extension with my knee right back but if you were to draw a line from shoulder to knee you will see that actually I’m not in any at all! (Also note that rib flare!!)
But if we teach and check that the client can bring themselves into a neutral position (relatively posteriorly tilting the pelvis) and hold it there comfortably, we can assume that we are engaging through the anterior chain abdominal muscles (good ol’ core!) and the posterior chain gluteals and hamstrings.
Now getting them to lunge whilst keeping this neutral will bring on the engaging of the correct muscles in a much more balanced way!