Thursday, September 22, 2016

Shin Angle Shenanigans

Forward momentum during a lunge can cause the knee to go over the toes.  When this happens it increases stress on your knee cap.  For those suffering from knee pain, this is not ideal.  However, over time we need to re-introduce this movement because it is required for sport and other activities of daily living.

Reverse lunges are a great way to introduce unilateral movements.  Unilateral movements are great for rehab because of the stability requirements.  Typically when people sustain an injury they avoid loading through the affected limb and lose some stability.  Lunging can help increase your athletic potential, by helping you be stable to cross someone up like Iverson or be strong off the blocks during the 100-meter dash like Usain Bolt. For strength athletes, single leg loading promotes strength and size gains in the lower extremities and throughout your trunk.

The reverse lunge is a great way to initiate lunging into a rehab program.  This is due to the shin angle remaining vertical as well as not having the strong deceleration forces on the knee as seen in a forward lunge or traveling lunges.  Typically we start with the affected side being the front leg and progress to the affected side going back because of these deceleration forces.

A great way to progress into performing reverse lunges is to use the EDGE Suspension Trainer initially to assist the movement.  Focus should be on getting a feel for sitting back into the lunge engaging the hinge pattern for better posterior chain recruitment.  

A great progression from this movement in a single limb squat with your non-stance leg behind you.  This allows for some increased shin angle which will transfer to sport.  We like this vs a pistol squat because the non-stance leg is behind you vs in front of you mimicking sport better.

Because we love you so much here is another bonus progression of a reverse lunge for you athletes out there.

This movement requires more dorsiflexion but translates very well to the playing field.  The hip flexion at the end of the movement helps achieve full triple extension as well as mimicking the initial step when sprinting.  Hence the name "Sprinter Starts".

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