Lunges irritating knees

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Matt Z
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Lunges irritating knees

Post by Matt Z » Mon Dec 04, 2006 1:31 pm

Since I started doing Barbell Lunges a few weeks ago, I've noticed that my knees have been cracking a lot more than usual. This happen seems to happen most when I get up from a chair, or while I'm standing, especially when I pivot. Generally, it's painless, but starting last week I noticed that it was sometimes accompanyed by some dull soarness.

Anyway, it may just be a coincidence, but I think the lunges are irritating my knees. Has anyone else here had this problem?

PS.) I'm thinking of replacing lunges with another lift. After all, they're only an auxilary exercise, and the last thing I want to do is damage my knees.
Last edited by Matt Z on Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Post by TimD » Mon Dec 04, 2006 2:34 pm

Matt, the onl time I've had trouble with lunges ( I use the split squat thing, with the bar on the front of the shoulders out of habit because I used to use the split method in the OL's) was when I let the knees go way over the toes in the deep position. That said, my knees pop all the time, but no pain whatsoever. Someone explained it to me once, something about air pockets, but I can't remember the whole thing. The soarness, I can't explain. Could be the lunge.
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Post by Stephen Johnson » Mon Dec 04, 2006 4:09 pm

You have to be careful with lunges to keep your knees from travelling too far in front of your heels. Ideally, your shin should be perpendicular with the floor. Also, your shoes could be the problem. Once upon a time, I had minor knee pain with lunges until I upgraded my training shoes.

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Post by Matt Z » Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:02 pm

My knees do go well past my toes on lunges. Actually when I think about it, the foot and knee position when I lunge is a lot like a very narrow stance squat, with my toes pointing straight foreward. However, instead of raising and lowering the bar vertically, I'm going up and down diagnally, which seems to place more strain on my knees.

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Post by Ryan A » Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:13 pm

Sounds like you need a longer stance.


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Post by Matt Z » Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:16 pm

I'm already taking a pretty long stride. If I don't I can't go deep without hitting my knee on the floor.

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Post by Juggers » Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:31 pm

Foward lunges really bother my knees too...I think that rear lunges feel more comfortable. I think that step ups are better but I look retardedly off balance when doing them...

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:21 pm

If an exercise bothers a body part, don't do it. There are plenty of alternatives. I ditched the bench press years ago, and surprisingly I discovered that there's life after benching for my chest workouts. Especially as you get older, risking injury just isn't worth it.

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Post by Ryan A » Tue Dec 05, 2006 12:11 am

If you are taking a long stride, how is your knee going past your toe?

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Post by Matt Z » Tue Dec 05, 2006 10:00 am

At the bottom of my lunge my trailing leg is almost straight. That might have something to do with it.

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Tue Dec 05, 2006 12:07 pm

The model at Muscle and Fitnessseems to have the knee forward problem solved. But the model at this site is clearly moving his knee close to his toes. Go figure.

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Post by TimD » Tue Dec 05, 2006 12:38 pm

Stephen, the M and F photo is much closer to reality. This is very close to what we used before going to the squat style of cleans and snatches. The front shin can be slightly over vertical,but the good point is that the back leg is straight, not bent, providing stability.
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Post by Stephen Johnson » Tue Dec 05, 2006 1:13 pm

TimD wrote:the M and F photo is much closer to reality. This is very close to what we used before going to the squat style of cleans and snatches. The front shin can be slightly over vertical,but the good point is that the back leg is straight, not bent, providing stability.Tim
The problem is that some hip flexor/adductor flexibility is needed to keep the back leg straight while keeping the torso erect. The tendency for many people is bend the back leg while leaning the torso forward. I had a hell of a time getting to be halfway decent at lunges. Even now, I prefer to dorear lunges on the smith machine.

Remember these two posts?
http://exrx.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2533
http://exrx.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2905

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Post by Matt Z » Tue Dec 05, 2006 1:48 pm

http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/HipFlexor ... lexor.html

This would be about the midpoint of my lunge. I don't think flexibility is an issue for me, since I can touch my forearms to my toes and my forehead to me shins.

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:33 pm

MattZ wrote:This would be about the midpoint of my lunge.
Your knee is noticably forward, then, not perpendicular like that of the M & F example. Try it that way and see if there's a difference.
MattZ wrote: I don't think flexibility is an issue for me, since I can touch my forearms to my toes and my forehead to me shins.
You're probably right, although forward bends test hamstring and erector spinae flexibility, not hip flexor/adductor flexibility.


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