Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lunge/Knee Combo - Tone Those Legs!

This week we are all about the legs.  I am almost to the 6 week mark after having my daughter and I am itching to do exercises like this (but I have to wait for the a-okay from my doctor) so I will have to live vicariously through all of you.

This move is great for your legs, glutes, and core.  That said, if done incorrectly it can lead to knee or back pain so PLEASE, read the instructions below.  It’s like I tell my students: if you start to hurt where you shouldn’t (back or joint), stop, take a break, make sure you are doing it correctly, and then try again at an easier level; however, if it’s your muscles that are hurting, suck it up and keep on going! ;)

Lunge/Knee Combo

Step your right leg back, keeping your weight on your left leg.  Tuck your hips under, pull your belly in to support your lower back, and open your chest.  Maintain this position throughout the exercise.  Now, pull your thigh muscles in toward the bone and lunge straight down.  Make sure that you do NOT let your knee buckle in or come past the toes on your front foot.  In addition, it is very important to keep most of the weight off your back knee.  To do this, keep as little weight on the back foot as possible (think of it as just being there for stabilization).  From here, focus on pulling in to your core as you explode upwards, bringing your right knee up high while at the same time pulling down with your arms for a “Rising Knee” (if you are martial arts inclined, add a front ball kick here).  Return to the starting position.
You can do this move both fast and slow.  Slow, you will work your stabilizing muscles and your core; fast you will work your heart and develop your fast-twitch muscles.  For slow, go for 3 rounds of 10-20 Lunge/Knee Combos on each side.  For fast, go for 2- 30 sec – 1 minute rounds.

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