The Lateral Lunge You NEVER Tried -

Written by Mike Over

The lateral lunge is an exercise many gym users neglect. It’s hard, uncomfortable, and you cant load heavy so it strips egos from men. It does have a massive benefit from a muscular standpoint from the muscles it works.

Muscles Worked:

  • Quadriceps
  • Gluteal Muscles
  • Hamstrings
  • Abductor Magnus (inner thigh)
  • Vastus Medialis Obliquus (VMO)

It also carries so many proprioceptive benefits, starting with:

  • Helping the body become resilient to odd movements and positions outside the sagittal plane.
  • Increasing quad, glute, and hip strength.
  • They help stabilize the spine and improve posture.
  • Improve balance and coordination.
  • Regain strength coming back from an injury.

Now that we know what it is and the benefits, lets dive into a variation I like and found super effective using a landmine!

Here’s how to do it:

  • Start standing, holding a landmine in the top position with your body leaning in towards the plate at your chest, core tight.
  • Step to the left/right a few feet with your right leg, taking a relatively large step.
  • Land. Keeping your left leg slightly bent to allow more range for your working leg, bend your right knee and push your butt back, lowering slowly.
  • Lower as far as you can comfortably, aiming to get thigh parallel to the ground. Then explosively drive up and to the left, driving back to a standing position.
  • Do 3 sets of 6-10 reps per side.

I come to love this for a few reasons:

  1. It’s not as awkward feeling.
  2. You can lean IN towards the plate, allowing you to shift a majority of the weight on the working leg while keeping better balance and being able to load heavier.
  3. You can get a deeper stretch reflex from the muscles worked by the vector angle allowing more angled flexion of the hip and knee.

In a typical side lunge, you'll step one foot out at your side, then sink your hips back and bend your knee to lower your butt to the floor. As you lower to the floor, you'll keep your opposite leg straight.

However, in this version you are bending both knees to allow for more depth in the lunge and the working leg is the one closest to the landmine. You can “feel” by placing more weight on that leg to make it do most of the work and it can fire up high threshold motor units in the hips to create more dynamic stability around the joint.

Having strong hips isn’t just for show, it’s for you to develop a bulletproof body that’s injury free and also a powerhouse when it comes to squatting and deadlifting. You can watch both these lifts go up from you working on this.

Give it a go and try working in rep ranges 6-10.

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