Genuine Movement Lunges

“Get under the ball!” Racquet sports athletes have probably heard this ad naseum from their coaches and with good reason. Getting low to receive and re-direct an incoming ball in squash or tennis allows you more control of your shot as well as help to control your momentum and change direction. Broken down to its essence, this movement is a lunge pattern. Yet when I screen beginning, intermediate and even advanced squash players I frequently see difficulty in getting into a lunge position as well as maintaining stability in a lunge. Test your self: Align your feet in a straight line with your feet about as far apart as the length of your foreleg. Lower down until your rear knee contacts the ground and your knees are both at 90 degrees. Return to the starting position. If you can’t get into the bottom position or if your chest is strongly leaning forward in the bottom position, you are immobile in this pattern. If you can get down to the bottom position but you lose your balance, you are unstable in this pattern. If either applies, your ability to stop, change direction, change elevation and bend to the ground are impaired for racquet sports, field/court sports and daily life. If you are immobile, go back and do the Genuine Movement Mobility Routine.

If you are unstable, don’t worry. The following exercises can help stabilize you and, with frequent practice, you will see a difference in your performance in 2-4 weeks.

½ Kneeling Cable Chops

  • Get in the ½ kneeling position: one knee down, opposite foot directly in front of the down knee
  • Use wooden dowel on cable machine
  • Chop across your body from high to low
  • Return to start by reversing the pattern
  • Don’t move hips, trunk or shoulders
  • 2 x 10

½ Kneeling 1 Arm Curl and Press

  • In ½ kneeling position, hold one DB in the hand on the opposite side of the front foot.
  • Curl and press DB while maintaining balance and position of hips and shoulders.

1 Arm Lunges

  • Stand with feet in a straight line
  • Hold DB in the opposite side of the front leg
  • Lower rear knee to floor to perform lunges with your feet in place
  • 2 x 10

1 Arm Lunges Overhead

  • Identical set up as 1 Arm Lunges but the weight is held overhead.
  • 2 x 10

Test yourself as you did previously to evaluate your improvement.

Practice these exercises about 2-3 times per week for 2-4 weeks and you should notice dramatic improvement in your lunge ability and your performance. If you don’t see an improvement, make sure to contact me to determine if another movement issue is preventing you from lunging. Please contact me at hspencer@sacdt.com for all your movement needs!

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