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Why Can't I do a Lunge??!!


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For some reason, any time I do a traditional lunge or a reverse lunge, I feel all the tightness and stress of that exercise in my BACK leg instead of my glutes. 

I try and "dig" my weight into my front heel as I'm supposed to, but it is SUPER awkward and sort of uncomfortable for me.  My knee is not beyond my toes so I'm not hyperextending anything.  Anyone else have this problem?  Any tips on how to perfect this move??? 

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How are your abs? It takes core strength to do a lunge too and if your back is bothering you it sounds like you need to strengthen your core.

It took me forever to be able to do a proper lunge and it was all because I had jelly belly. :o)

If your hip flexors are tight, the rear leg flexors will be making you lean your upper body forward too much. Your back will get tired from supporting the forward lean, or from trying to keep you upright.

If that sounds like the problem, look up stretches for the psoas muscle.

On the other hand, if you can do the splits (forward/rear ones) and still have your body upright, I am way off on my guess.

edit: Woops. I misread the original post as "feel all the stress in my BACK," instead of "back leg." On the other hand, I seemed to have helped emilysmi (see below).

Original Post by oldguysrule:

If your hip flexors are tight, the rear leg flexors will be making you lean your upper body forward too much. Your back will get tired from supporting the forward lean, or from trying to keep you upright.

If that sounds like the problem, look up stretches for the psoas muscle.

On the other hand, if you can do the splits (forward/rear ones) and still have your body upright, I am way off on my guess.

I have problems with my hip flexors and my lunges look like ate up dog dookie. It is all making sense now!

Hmmm...

Invisiblecs I definitely don't have a 6 pack lol, but I would consider my abs as being pretty strong.  I have always had a high level of endurance when it comes to ab work so I don't know if that's the culprit.

Oldguys and Emily, I'm pretty flexible (can do the splits) and don't feel as if I'm leaning forward while lunging.  I don't know...

I have self-inflicted scoliosis of my lower back on the right side.   Maybe the curvature has something to do with throwing me "off-balance" even though I feel level & stabilized.  Maybe I just need to not do these and stick with plies, squats and deadlifts.  Something about lunges just whacks out my knees too.  It's such an awkward position for my body!

 

 

Maybe you are so flexible that you are leaning back, which would put more weight on your rear leg.

You might want to try these.

Original Post by emilysmi:

Original Post by oldguysrule:

If your hip flexors are tight, the rear leg flexors will be making you lean your upper body forward too much. Your back will get tired from supporting the forward lean, or from trying to keep you upright.

If that sounds like the problem, look up stretches for the psoas muscle.

On the other hand, if you can do the splits (forward/rear ones) and still have your body upright, I am way off on my guess.

I have problems with my hip flexors and my lunges look like ate up dog dookie. It is all making sense now!

LMAO!

Original Post by oddfunk:

For some reason, any time I do a traditional lunge or a reverse lunge, I feel all the tightness and stress of that exercise in my BACK leg instead of my glutes. 

Stretch your hip flexors right before the exercise.  Instructions are on google.  Do each leg for 30 seconds.

Start by mastering the split squat first (sometimes called the static lunge).  Concentrate on pushing with the front leg, as if you are trying to crush a soda can with your front foot. 

Also, wear a low heeled shoe, like Converse All-Stars or Vibrams.. or even go shoe-less.  You're probably wearing sneakers with a raised heel, which makes it hard to push through the heel.

If you still have trouble, post a video of yourself doing them.  From the waist down is all we need to see.

By the way, the backward lunge is supposed to work your rear leg.  You won't feel the glutes much. 

Original Post by oddfunk:

For some reason, any time I do a traditional lunge or a reverse lunge, I feel all the tightness and stress of that exercise in my BACK leg instead of my glutes. 

Maybe your glutes are strong enough that your back leg is the limiting factor.

 

Original Post by floggingsully:

Original Post by oddfunk:

For some reason, any time I do a traditional lunge or a reverse lunge, I feel all the tightness and stress of that exercise in my BACK leg instead of my glutes. 

Maybe your glutes are strong enough that your back leg is the limiting factor.

 

 steel buns

Thanks for all the replies. 

Oldguys, I've tried those before but something about it feels odd to my knees.  It's similar to the elliptical machines.  I don't do those because even though it's a non-impact gliding motion, the 'back and forth' is really awkward feeling on my knees.

Cherimoose- thank you so much for the pointers and I will stretch the flexors and practice as you advised.  I really didn't think much about flat shoes and yes, the shoes I wear typically do have a raised heel.

Floggingsully- buns of steel are yet to be realized over here unfortunately...Yell

try some vinyasa yoga poses to relax your body and stretch your muscles correctly. Wink

oddfunk,

 

I have the same problem.  I am a male in excellent physical condition and workout 5 days a week.  I take a class called "Body Pump" once a week where we do lunges for several minutes.  I have the right form (even had the instructor critique me) but still my quads cramp up in the back leg.  It helps if I put my back foot further back and then go down to where my back knee almost touches the floor.  However, this exercise doesn't target my glutes like they say it should since my quad cramps up before I get a good burn in my front leg glute.  I prefer the dynamic stepping lunge (with or without a platform) as I can really feel it in my glutes.  You could also try squats which are just as good imo (remember to keep your butt back and your head up).

doing squats or lunges, slow, steady and remind self to PUSH through your HEEL, that engages your butt ;). Otherwise your just engaging your legs if you push on the ball of foot. A trainer also

#14  
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I also have trouble with lunges, mostly due to my knees so I will do mine against the wall. I put my hands flat against the wall (facing the wall) and lunge by stepping back. This will hit several different muscle areas but first try not going so deep into the lunge and see if you can focus and target that glute.  Definitely make sure you have your stomach muscles pulled in and shoulders back.  You'll get it, keep trying.  :)

well i can do a perfect split, so i know that flexibility wasn't my issue.  what worked for me was proper posture, before i start the lunge, i make sure my tailbone is tucked down and my back is straight.  when i take a second to correct my posture i can feel my abs engage and i'm able to go low enough to feel like an ice pick is stabbing me in the @ss, and from the results i've gotten on my glutes shaping, i'm assuming this is the feeling i'm looking for.  

I have the same problem with lunges...for me it is in my knees though i have trouble getting up out of the position ...i do yoga to help strengthen them but they get inflammed from overuse so i just do what i can and make the best of it..pushing myself as best as i can...age is also a factor...lol...

 

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