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lunge form - position of core relative to feet

Posted: Wed May 06, 2009 1:23 pm
by frogbyte
When doing lunges with your left foot forward, say you were to draw a line from your left foot to your right foot. Should your head/spine/crotch be above that line or to the left or right of it?

Posted: Wed May 06, 2009 1:38 pm
by Blue Running Man
Your feet shouldn't be on the same line. There should be some space between them, around shoulder or hips width.

I would say, if you were to draw a line through your noes, your midline. Both feet should be the same distance from that line.

Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 10:47 am
by frogbyte
I only have 2 feet, and they are both on the floor (which is a flat planar surface), so by definition you can draw a line between them.

Now the angle that the feet are pointing is another thing. From what I understand the feet should point forward at a right angle from direction of the shoulders/hips. But that's another matter entirely.

Anyone know the answer to the original question? I haven't been able to find authoritative-looking examples of lunge from a camera angle in front or from above, which would be helpful.

Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 4:54 pm
by frogbyte
Ok I finally found a video with a few shots of lunge from the front. It's hard to follow cause the f'ing cameramen kept moving the shot around, but...

During the deep lunge, at around 0:48 seconds, you can see the lead girl's core move to her right when she does a lunge with the right foot, and move to her left when she does a lunge with her left foot.

That looks somewhat similar to my form actually. My core is usually an inch or two away from the line that would join my feet. And it favors the side of the lead foot.

Anyone have info on that being good or bad?

Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 5:37 pm
by Rik-Blades

Play the Lunge Video.

(Cant beleive I just posted a Scooby Link! :red: )

Re: lunge form - position of core relative to feet

Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 11:06 pm
by Jungledoc
frogbyte wrote:When doing lunges with your left foot forward, say you were to draw a line from your left foot to your right foot. Should your head/spine/crotch be above that line or to the left or right of it?
This question makes no sense to me. Of course they should be above that line--where else can they be? The line would pass diagonally under your body as it passed from left-forward to right-backward. How could your body be to either left or right without going into painful contortions?

You are over-thinking this. Stand there. Step forward with one foot and drop the opposite knee to the floor. Stand back up and move the foot back to it's original position. You're done. Don't think about lines or about your crotch.

Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 12:32 pm
by frogbyte
I can't really tell from scooby where his core is relative to his feet - the camera angles are bad.

Your core certainly can be far away from the line between your feet without contortions. For instance when you are sitting down, or about to, the line between your feet is a good 8-16 inches out in front of your crotch.

Is the question really not clear or were you kidding?

Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 1:16 pm
by KPj
The question's really not clear....

There's lot's of room for error on a lunge, form is butchered on it quite a lot. You need to keep the chest up/high, chin tucked slightly, your 'working' knee should be infront of your hip, not caved inwards. Weight depends on what you're going for - if your focusing on glutes drive through the heels and take as long a stride as possible, if not, drive through midfoot and shorten the stride.

Excessive forward lean and knees caving inwards are the most common flaws you see, in my opinion anyway. Just keep the chest up and your back position will be fine - that's what that cue means. With the knee, push to the sides - might sound familiar (common squat cue)

If you're just starting to do lunges, do yourself a favour and exhaust things like static lunge/split squat (same thing), step ups, reverse lunges first, getting your form perfect before moving onto the dynamic lunge, or walking lung variations. Also start with (and exhaust) DB's before you use a BB.


Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 2:52 pm
by frogbyte
Yes, I'm just doing static lunges at the moment. I'm going all the way to the floor with the back knee, with a long stride so that my hip gets parallel to the floor and my shin is perpendicular to the floor.

I found another video, where you can clearly see the girl's core drifts towards the direction of the lead leg, relative to her knee. Now I keep my knee straight perpendicular to the ground cause some things were advising that, but I think my lead knee usually ends up centered about halfway between my hip and crotch (when looking in a mirror).

Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 11:42 pm
by Jungledoc
1. You can't see a core.

2. The question is still not clear

3. If you are asking about shifting from side to side, the feet should be approximately equidistant to the mid-coronal plane, but I don't think a little deviation would be a big deal.

4. The woman in the video is allowing her lead knee to move inward. Otherwise I don't see a fault with her form.

Posted: Sat May 09, 2009 6:18 pm
by frogbyte
Instead of core let's say pelvis. What then?

Even when my knee stays perpendicular to the floor, it seems like the natural position is for my pelvis to drift left about 2 inches (if the lead foot is the left.)

Posted: Mon May 11, 2009 3:44 am
by KPj
I think I know what you mean now. The position of the knee in the front of the body? You want it infront of the hip.

And that womans lunge form was horrible. My knee aches just watching it. Pause the video 2 seconds in and you'll see the text book 'at risk'position for an ACL injury. That's a classic case of weak glutes, and a great example of how it may 'feel' like you're doing something right, when you're not (your body is smart like that).

Check the following video, look at the position of the knee relative to the hip - that is what's meant by "knee infront of the hip". Cue yourself to push the knee to the side. ... annel_page

Think of your knees in a bilateral squat - they shouldn't 'cave in', and a common cue is to 'push your knees to the sides'. Same thing, really.

Also, don't look too much into shin position, just get your knee and hip in good alignment and you'll be fine. If you want a perpendicular shin, do Reverse Lunges. If you're experiencing knee pain then I would understand why you would want perpendicular shins.


Posted: Mon May 11, 2009 12:02 pm
by frogbyte
Ok, see that's what I was suspicious of. My current form feels natural, but looks awkward in the weight room's mirror. I've been keeping my knee from caving in relative to my foot, but my hip has been drifting out past the knee. It will definitely be harder to not do that.

That golfer's form is extremely impressive. Not only is his hip not moving side to side at all, and his knee is vertical the whole time, but his feet are really close to being in line with the pointing of his toes. He's just a couple inches away from being able to do that standing on a balance beam. I'm still having trouble with balance, and my hands are down at my sides, and my feet are maybe an inch wider than shoulder width.

I'm scheduled for lunge tomorrow, so will try to do that movement and see...

Posted: Tue May 12, 2009 3:39 am
by KPj
Yeah, it's not bad. If you focus on form and don't lift more weight than you're capable of (with good form), then you'll be able to do that quite quickly.

Do you have any resistance bands? One thing you can do is loop a band around your working leg, just below the knee. Tie this to a rack or somthing, so that the band is pulling your knee inwards. This makes you naturally/automatically 'resist' the band pulling you inwards, causing you to push outwards and switch on the glutes. If you have a band it's worth doing this the next 2-3 times your lunging, then, remove the band, and things should come together nicely. That's not the only way to do it, it's just a nice trick to help speed things a long so don't worry if you have no bands.

I would also recommend you activate the glutes with emphasis on glute medius before you lunge.

Glute Med emphasis (can be done without the band) ... annel_page

It's not really relevant but one of Gray Cooks assessments in his movement screen is the "inline lunge", where both feet are on the same line, and your rear knee is supposed to touch the floor just behined your front foot. You need to be able to do this with a dowel on your shoulders and, in order to pass, the dowel must not move to the side or forward. Just a 'FYI', really. It's not how he suggests you train the lunge, it's purely an assessment of balance and mobility. Bringing the feet in line just narrows your base of support and makes it more difficult to stay in control.


Posted: Wed May 13, 2009 3:16 pm
by frogbyte
Yeah, actually I had been doing those clams, because it was recommended in some (I think t-nation) article that someone had linked to from here previously.

I was able to do fairly continuous reps yesterday and kept the knee outside ankle. Ie, I think I was able to keep a right angle from my left knee to my left hip socket and my left hip socket to my right hip socket. This seems to be in keeping with recommendations.

I see now from looking at that golfer's form again that his knee moved outside his ankle so I guess that's reasonable.