The lunge is one of the most effective exercises to build lower body strength, improve balance, and help solve chronic joint pain. I include some variation of the lunge in almost every plan to treat foot, ankle, knee, hip and back pain. However, for many people the lunge aggravates their knee pain and so they avoid it all costs. If that sounds like you, don’t worry. With a few easy tweaks you’ll be to build strength in the lunge without aggravating your knee pain.
How To Lunge With Knee Pain
Three Easy Fixes
Switch To a Reverse Lunge
The forward lunge is a ‘quad dominant’ movement that requires a big eccentric contraction through the quadicep and patellar tendon. This puts a lot of strain on the structures on the front of theknee and can contribute to pain with the movement. The reverse lunge is a safer variation that puts less stress on the knee joint. Because the reverse lunge is a more ‘hamstring dominant’ variation it puts less strain on the knee and is a better choice for anyone with knee pain.
Use Different Variations
The lunge is part of a group of exercises that all train the same movements. Some are easier on the knees than others. Starting with easier variations helps you build strength and confidence in the movement until you’re able to work your way up to the full lunge. Step Ups, Split Squats, Bulgarian Split Squats are all variations of the lunge that you can use to lunge even if you’re dealing with knee pain.
The step up is a great way to safely build strength in the lunge movement and easier on your knees
The use of a TRX or some other assistance can help you lunge without knee. Being able to control the movement and with your arms takes pressure off your knee until you’re strong enough to perform the movement with no assistance. If you don’t have access to a TRX you can use bands or simply using a table or chair to help press off.
The TRX is a great tool to take pressure off your knee while lunging
When it comes to treating pain, exercise should part of the solution…NOT the problem. These three easy fixes will help you take advantage of all the benefits of the lunge movement without aggravating your knee pain. To learn more about how to build strength without stressing your joints be sure to download our free program ‘Solving Pain With Strength‘ at the link below.