The lunge is one of the most important exercises to build the strength and confidence to live active, healthy and happy lives. However, it can be difficult to perform when struggling with big toe pain. Many of my clients have had previous surgeries, bunions, or other injuries that cause big toe pain with lunges. The following lunge alternatives help you build strength in the movement without aggravating your big toe pain.
Alternative #1: The Step Up
The step up is an easy lunge variation that does require big toe extension to aggravate your big toe pain. Progress and regress the step up to meet your ability level by changing the height of your step and/or the amount of weight you hold.
Alternative #2: Assisted Lunges
Using assistance with your lunge allows you to more easily control the movement to avoid extending your big toe. Depending on the severaity of your toe pain you can try gently landing into a traditional lunge. If you still have pain you can land on the top part of your back foot to avoid any toe extension.
Alternative #3: Bulgarian Split Squats
The bulgarian split squat is another, more challenging alternative to the lunge. Placing the top of your back foot on a step or bench allows you to lunge without overextending your big toe. This can be made easier by using assitance (with a TRX). It can also be made more chellenging by holding onto weight while performing.
Don’t let big toe pain with lunges keep you from your favorite exercise routine. Try these three alternatives to continue to build the strength and confidence required to solve chronic joint pain. For more information about how to build strength without stressing your joints, download our free program ‘Solving Pain With Strength’ at the linke below.