Don’t Skip Lunges!

Don’t Skip Lunges!

January 09, 2020


(Lunges never lose their effectiveness - an original auxiliary lift for the BFS Total Program they are still vital to athletic success today.) 

Lunges are a valuable BFS auxiliary exercise that develops power balance and develops the hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes. Each leg is forced to work independently, and there is minimal stress on the lower back, especially when dumbbells are used.

Power balance is important in football, basketball, volleyball, baseball, soccer, wrestling, and the following events in track: hurdles, high jump, long jump, pole vault, discus, shot put, javelin, and the hammer throw. Whenever an athlete needs to change direction explosively and transfer quickly from one leg to the other, power balance is required. Lunges are fantastic for that purpose.

We begin junior high and high school athletes with lunges without any weight. We want to get the correct movement down. As in all lifts, the technique is vitally important with lunges. Start with a narrow stance and step out – the challenge is to see if the athlete can come back to the starting position smoothly without any false steps.

Follow the CoachBFS Channel on YouTube for BFS instruction. Here BFS CEO Bob Rowbotham teaches the optimal technique for performing lunges.

Those who have had BFS clinics marvel at the similarity of our coaching guidelines on all phases of our program. It doesn’t matter if we are jumping, sprinting, stretching, or squatting -- we say eyes straight ahead, sit tall, spread the chest and lock-in the lower back. It is no different with lunges.

Once an athlete masters the lunge movement with a long stride, dumbbells can be used. Most of the time this can be the same training session. Beginners should use dumbbells and not a barbell. There are some risks when using a barbell behind your neck. If you perform the exercise with a rounded back or lose your balance, this could cause an injury. If you get in trouble balance-wise with dumbbells, all you do is let go of the dumbbells. Sometimes, because of lack of power rack stations and barbells, using dumbbells may be the best way to utilize space and equipment.

The advantage of using a barbell is the athlete gains more in muscular development because heavier weights can be used. Therefore, after an athlete has thoroughly mastered the lunge technique with perfect balance, he or she may wish to switch from dumbbells to the barbell.

We normally perform the lunge for two sets of 10 reps in the BFS off-season workout. Normally, we only do these on the Wednesday workout but doing them twice per week is OK. Also, we don’t max out on this lift -- if you wanted to do a third set of 10, you could, but no more. Just put on enough to get a great workout with perfect

Russia’s Vasily Alexeev was a two-time Olympic champion who broke 80 world records and was the first man to clean and jerk 500 pounds. Here he is shown doing a unique lunge variation holding the barbell on the front of his shoulders – this should be considered an advanced exercise. (Bruce Klemens photo).

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