Friday, July 20, 2012


I feel as though lunges are going to be a key exercise in my training in accomplishing the Spartan Race Trifecta.

Reasons for this include:

  • Like squats, lunges work most of the muscles in your legs including your quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves.
  • From a functional point of view, they involve single-leg strength.
  • There are very few exercises that carry over to almost every sport but lunges are one of them.
  • Lunges carry over into running very nicely. We all know we will be doing a lot of that in the Spartan. Lunges work all the muslces you'd be using while running.
  • Lunges are a multi joint movement which can strengthen the muscles or your lower body while your improve your stabilization and balance.
The list could go on, on why the lunge is going to be a important move to incorporate into my training journey.

You can even do variations to it. Such as adding weight which is a pretty obvious one. Some people will do a lunge then twist the torso. A lunge with a bicep curl or shoulder press. You can make the lunge a full body movement.

The lunge has gotten a bad rap in the strength training world for two reasons. First, it’s used in the fitness world, and it’s championed by women for toning and firming the legs and buttocks – two body parts nestled somewhere in the Problem Region. Next, they make you really, really sore. So, combine pain and apparent pussification, and you have an exercise that few people want to do.

These people are wrong. Lunges are great for building leg strength and mass. Of course, when you introduce these into the strength training world, the first thing you’ll do is add a plate to whatever weight the “regular people” are using. This usually results in you doing a really bad genuflect, followed by a rounded-back get-up. Awful. Take big strides, maintain an upright torso and do them right. Dumbbells, barbells, weight vest, bodyweight…doesn’t matter. Walking lunge, backwards lunge…doesn’t matter.

In Closing...Do Lunges!

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