JOSPT – November 2008, Volume 38 No.11
I prescribe many exercises to my clients and the most hated exercise of all is the lunge exercise. It’s a hard exercise to execute. It requires balance, co-ordination, strength and flexibility….and it hurts. Not a bad hurt though, a good hurt. The kind of pain which makes you feel as though you are doing good.
Primarily the lunge is to strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteal muscles. The exercise help strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee joint which is important for stabilisation of both the knees and the lower legs in general.
In this study they analysed a short stride lunge compared to a longer stride lunge. I have always prescribed a longer lunge because I felt the benefits were more obvious, and you are able to control the position of your foot and knee. They found that a longer stride lunge placed less force on the patellofemoral joint (knee joint), than a shorter stride lunge thereby making the longer stride more appropriate for rehabilitation exercises.