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2012 Lunge Challenge

12.11.2012 / Blog Posts Health and Wellness

Becky Johnson, Certified Personal Trainer (ACE); IBNFC Certified Nutrition Coach

We’ve all heard the statistics about holiday weight gain.  Americans can gain between 5-7 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Years.  During this time of year, I tell my clients to try to maintain their weight and fitness level.  No extreme dieting or marathon workouts.  As the saying goes,  “You can’t out exercise a bad diet”.  As our schedules get busy and our family obligations take over our lives, I thought I’d offer you an option to squeeze in some exercise.  It’s called the 2012 LUNGE CHALLENGE!

2012 LUNGE CHALLENGE

Since we are winding down the year 2012, I thought we could use that number as our goal.  The challenge is very simple.  Perform 2012 lunges in the month of December. With a little bit of math (and a calculator!), that equates to 65 lunges per day.  I played with the idea of doing burpees, squats and crunches but I think I’ll save that for another challenge.  The lunge is an exercise that targets the glutes, quads and hamstrings.

Remember to use both legs. You can split it up and do half on the right leg and half on the left leg. 

See, now it’s sounding more reasonable and doable, isn’t it? Try to vary the types of lunges, for example:

1. Forward lunges
2. Reverse lunges
3. Lateral or side lunges
4. Around the world lunges: forward, side, and then reverse lunge on the same leg
5. Reverse lunge then perform a lifted knee hop
6. Reverse lunge then kick forward with back leg
7. Curtsy lunge: lunge back as if your doing a curtsy at an angle
8. Forward lunge with a biceps curl
9. Forward lunge with a shoulder press
10. Elevate front foot or rear foot and perform lunge
11. Jumping lunges

Common Lunge Mistakes:

Bending your front knee “more” than 90 degrees
Don’t do it! Your knee should not be at any acute angle less than 90 degrees. This causes a lot of stress on your knee joint. 90 degrees should be the maximum angle of your front leg.

Front knee extends over the toes of the same leg
This goes along with above problem. Your front knee should only go directly over your toes at the bottom of the exercise.

Back knee should not point anywhere but straight down
It may be hard to balance yourself, but this is very important so you don’t injure your knee. If you must, perform assisted lunges to warm up or start out so you don’t hurt yourself.

Leaning forward or bowing when stepping forward
You need to keep your back perpendicular to the ground for proper form throughout the exercise! (unless noted otherwise)

Locking knees at the top of the exercise (start position)
They should be ever-so-slightly bent to keep the all the muscles in the exercise engaged throughout your set.

Looking down
Don't do this either! Look straight ahead and keep your entire neck down to your thighs straight.

Beginning a lunge with your feet too close or too wide. 
Your ideal position would be about shoulder width apart. Your back knee should be 1-2 inches off the ground when performing a proper full lunge (unless noted otherwise).

As you see, you’ll never get bored doing lunges every day in the month of December.  

Your legs will look amazing! Give this challenge a try.  If anything, it will help you carve out a little bit of time everyday to squeeze in some exercise.  Let me know what you think.  Or let me know if you create your own 2012 Challenge!

Stay Fit and Healthy!

Becky

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