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Training Tips: Split Squats & Lunges

This applies to your:

Lunges, walking lunges, smith lunges etc.

Split squats & Bulgarian split squats (shown here)

You can also observe a similar effect during bilateral hip and and knee movements like the squat, but stride won’t factor in here.

Slide over for a wobbly demo of the each for the Bulgarian split squat. I am not perfectly perpendicular to the bench and am a bit twisted 🤷🏼‍♀️.

To increase the range of motion (ROM) you could place a low box or aerobic riser under the front foot on this movement to allow for a slightly deeper squat.

Generally speaking, for exercises where movement is happening around the hip joint and the knee joint by decreasing the angle of the hip and increasing the angle of the knee and ankle we can involve the muscles of the posterior chain a little more.

If we increase the angle of the hip by keeping a more upright torso and make our knee and ankle angles smaller we can shift more of the load onto the quads.

Lengthening or shortening our stride helps up to do this.

Forward knee travel or allowing the knee to track over and past the toes (more ankle dorsiflexion) is not something that’s associated with higher injury risk or ‘bad knees’, the opposite (stronger and more injury resistant knees) would likely be associated overtime if progressive overload was implemented for these movements.

However if doing these moves and forward knee travel past a point makes your knees feel painful or more sore than you can recover from then it may be something to progress up to with time.

I crossed my arms to keep them out of the way for the demo. You can load these with dumbbells/ kettlebells in the hands, a barbell on the back or a band if you want to be extra.


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