The lunge is a great lower body strength exercise. I’m happy to say that I see many people including them in their routine at the gym. Unfortunately, I do see some pretty ugly lunges around here as well. When you perform a lunge correctly, it’s a tremendous glute/hamstring strength builder. When performed incorrectly, the lunge can be a harmful exercise to your knees.
If you’ve ever done a lunge and wondered why it was hurting your knee, the answer is simple, you’re doing them incorrectly. While performing the lunge, you shouldn’t have a lot of anterior shift (pressing forward) of your weight. This increases the shear force on the front of the knee and can cause pain and damage to the structures of the knee. Shear forces are not good!!!! In a correct lunge, your body weight should be traveling straight downward and upward. This reduces the shear force on the front of the knee and hopefully leads to a more pain-free lunge.
The video below further demonstrates how to perform a “pain free” lunge.
About the Author: Eric Noyes BHSc (Kin), CSEP-CPT
Eric is Kinesiology Graduate from The University of Ontario and holds his Training Certification with the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. He has been training general population and sport specific clients at Body Fit since 2013 and is currently the Lead Trainer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for advice and consultation