Question about alternative lunge I saw...?

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    Jan 19, 2009 12:42 AM GMT
    At the gym the other night, I saw a guy doing a variation on lunges. Instead of the traditional "forward lunge" or the "side lunge", his lunges were in between. Kind of diagonal, or 45degrees off normal.

    My question is, what's the benefit of this variant? Is he working his outer glutes more?
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    Jan 19, 2009 3:13 AM GMT
    As you do the movement, notice the muscles that are working. There, you'll find your answer.
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    Jan 19, 2009 3:27 AM GMT
    There's also the backward lunge.

    I think lunges are overrated. People put so much emphasis on that exercise, and yet they use such sloppy form they don't get any real benefit from it.
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    Jan 19, 2009 3:42 AM GMT
    Thanks for the reminder about the alternate lunges...
    I believe lunges build muscle and strength over time when done correctly.
    I highly recommend them. I'm thankful that you guys mentioned the 45 degree lunge...I had forgotten about that one for a while.

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    Jan 19, 2009 3:53 AM GMT
    Personally, I think stairs, and step-ups with dumbbells, are more effective, but, that's just my "feel" on it and don't have any science on that.

    Certainly there's significantly more loading with the stairs and step ups.
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    Jan 19, 2009 4:58 AM GMT
    chuckystud saidAs you do the movement, notice the muscles that are working. There, you'll find your answer.

    D'uh. I tried that after watching the guy, and didn't notice much of a difference. Hence, my asking RJ.

    Anyone have a helpful answer?
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    Jan 19, 2009 4:59 AM GMT
    RPMSoccer saidThanks for the reminder about the alternate lunges...
    I believe lunges build muscle and strength over time when done correctly.
    I highly recommend them. I'm thankful that you guys mentioned the 45 degree lunge...I had forgotten about that one for a while.


    So why do the 45degree lunges? What's the difference?
  • UncleverName

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    Jan 19, 2009 5:45 AM GMT
    my guess is that it's just another variation meant to mix things up and or recruit stabilizers at different angles.
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    Jan 19, 2009 6:03 AM GMT
    NakedDevil said
    RPMSoccer saidThanks for the reminder about the alternate lunges...
    I believe lunges build muscle and strength over time when done correctly.
    I highly recommend them. I'm thankful that you guys mentioned the 45 degree lunge...I had forgotten about that one for a while.


    So why do the 45degree lunges? What's the difference?

    The emphasis shifts to your groin and inner thighs. I think this exercise (when done properly) is beneficial for any sports where running is involved.. running, soccer, rugby, football, etc.
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    Jan 19, 2009 6:38 AM GMT
    If you've ridden a city bus/train system, think about those times when there aren't any seats available and you end up standing. What's the best way to place your feet so you don't get thrown sideways by the inertia of the vehicle? The obvious answer is: not to put your feet in a straight line parallel or perpendicular to your hips or the direction of travel, i.e. you want to stagger them diagonally.

    A few years back I went to a Physical Therapist for patellar tendonitis, and starting the 3rd week one of the exercises he had me do was the lunge stepping simultaneously out to the side and front (about 45 degrees as you say). I really liked the diagonal lunges, because the normal straight-ahead lunges seemed to:
    A) pass more load/impact through the lower quads and the knee joint itself (which we want to avoid during the acute phase of an injury)
    B) be more difficult to maintain balance when putting so much stress on a joint where I had some existing instability.

    When doing the diagonal step-out lunges, it was easier for me to feel the muscles in my upper quads and glutes loading. It also gave me more natural bracing from the non-lunging leg and partially recruited the hip ab/ad-ductors for control through the entire Range of Motion of the exercise, which was very important early on when I would still occasionally get that sharp stabbing-ripping twinge of an overloaded patellar tendon.

    After 6 weeks of PT I had so much strength and control I could do a lunge in pretty much any ROM geometrically possible. When I do leg workouts now, I'll sometimes do 'em straight, sometimes, diagonal, sometimes sideways. Personally, if I'm wanting to focus specifically on the look and development of the major leg muscles, I'll do straight lunges. If I want a little more focus on strengthening the whole lower body and improving motion/flexibility/stability for playing a sport, I'll do the diagonal or sideways lunges.

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    Jan 19, 2009 8:25 AM GMT
    NASM instructs their trainers to point straight forward.

    NakedDevil said " D'uh. I tried that after watching the guy, and didn't notice much of a difference. Hence, my asking RJ"

    Sometimes it takes a few run throughs on an exercise to get your proprioception in gear. Once you do it a few times, you should be able to quickly identify the items at work.
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    Jan 19, 2009 5:56 PM GMT
    Think of it like your calves. When you point your feet out it hits your muscle a certain way. When you point your feet in it hits your muscle a certain way. When you point them forward it is between the other two.

    If you do side and forward muscles and don't feel like you can do any more, try doing some at 45 degrees and pump a few extra out.