Multi Directional Lunges - Thrive Now Physiotherapy

Multi Directional Lunges

Multi Directional Lunges

Multi directional lunges are a compound movement that involves multiple joints and muscles making it an extremely functional exercise that is excellent for all fitness levels. It works the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calf, core, and inner thigh. It can also help improve balance.

For someone who is suffering from joint pain, osteoarthritis or just getting back into movement one of the best ways to manage joint pain or help to combat degenerative changes in the joint such as, osteoarthritis involves dynamic loading of the joint. The bending and extending of the joint is the dynamic portion and the loading comes from applying force to the joint in the form activities such as walking, biking, Squatting or even running. When you dynamically load a joint it helps you circulate synovial fluid inside the joint. This helps to flush out some inflammatory chemicals from our immune system and in turn allows other nutrients into the joint that will help the natural regeneration of cartilage.

What happens when there is no dynamic loading of a joint, such as when you have prolonged periods of sitting or inactivity? The bodies natural degeneration of cartilage begins to outpace the bodies ability to regenerate cartilage. This is caused by a lack of nutrients supplied by the synovial fluid. Over time this lack of nutrients can lead to degeneration of the joint including a worsening of osteoarthritis. One of the best treatments for joint pain/ osteoarthritis is movement!

For older adults, people who are deconditioned or those who rely on gate aids the multi directional lunge can be modified to allow you to perform this exercise safely and effectively. For those that are higher functioning the multi directional lunge can be a great way to work towards a single leg squat, improve your balance and work on perfecting your movement patterns.

 

Before you get started please review the following Safety Tips:

When using walking poles also known as, trekking poles, or hiking poles you need to ensure that they are fitted to you. These poles are adjustable and are generally user friendly and easy to use. Make sure you apply some pressure to them after fitting them to ensure that you have locked them in place and that the poles do no slide down when you are using them.

Fitting the poles: Normally when using walking poles, you want your arms to be at a 90-degree angle.

Arm Placement Too High

Arm Placement at 90 degrees

Arm Placement Too Low

 

For the multi directional lunge it is ideal that we have the poles slightly below 90-degrees as when going down into the lunge and coming back out is when we need the support of the poles most and would be best to have our arms in the optimal position during the phase, we need it most.

Important form tips to keep in mind while performing Multi Directional Lunges :

  • On your front leg you want to ensure that your knee is over your ankle and your shin is perpendicular to the floor.
  • You also want to ensure that your knee is does not come forward over your toes of your front leg as you descend into the lowered position.

Proper form Front Foot

  • On your back leg your hip should line up with the knee and the ankle should be in line with the knee. Bending through the knee and the toes.

Proper form Back Foot

  • When descending into a lunge make sure to keep your upper body tall. Do not lean over.

Lunge Tall Upper Body

  • When doing the side lunge ensure that your foot is straight and the heel is not turning in or out.

Heel Turned In !

Foot Straight - Perfect!

Heel Turned Out !

 

Sliding lunges with poles limited ROM

 

Equipment: walking poles, 1 sliding disk (can use paper plate or tea towel)

This is a 3-part movement.

Part One:

To start make sure the poles are correctly adjuster to your height. When you are holding the poles in your hands your elbow and wrist should be at a 90-degree angle with the upper arm.

Place the slider on the floor. Stepping on the slider with the front of your right foot.

Keeping the foot on the sliding disk bring the right foot back so that your feet are hip width apart and your hands are holding the poles comfortably in front of you.

Slowly side your right leg out in front of you. Be careful not to slide the leg out too far as you need to be able to get back to the starting position in one fluid motion, without changing positions.

Next keeping the upper body tall, slowly begin to bend your right leg at the knee. At the same time, you will need to bend the left knee moving it towards the floor and lift the left heel off the floor. Again, do not go too deep into this movement. You should be able to comfortably come out of this position.

Lift yourself back up straightening the legs and returning the left foot to the floor.

Then bring the right leg back in line with the left leg.

It is more important that this exercise is done correctly then how far or how deep you can go. To begin aim for about ¼ of the way to the floor. However, this will vary based on your current abilities.

Part Two:

Start standing tall with feet hip width apart, slider under right foot holding the poles comfortably in front of you (this should be the position you ended up in at the end of part one).

Slowly move the right leg out to the side maintaining the position of the foot. Do not let the heal turn in or out. This will put undue pressure on the knee joint. Be careful not to go too far. You should be able to get out of this position in a smooth and fluid motion. Your right foot and left foot should still be in line.

Next shift your weight to the right side, bend your right knee, sticking your bottom out and sending your weight back. Do not go down farther than you are able to comfortably get out of. Aim for approximately ¼ of the way to the floor.

Your left leg should be straight and extended to the side.

Slowly straighten out your right leg.

Then return your right leg to the starting position.

Part Three:

Start standing tall with feet hip width apart, slider under right foot holding the poles comfortably in front of you (this should be the position you ended up in at the end of part two).

Slowly side your right leg out behind you. Be careful not to slide the leg out too far as you need to be able to get back to the starting position in one fluid motion, without changing positions or moving the left leg.

Next keeping the upper body tall, slowly begin to lower the right knee towards the floor. To allow your right knee to move towards the floor you will need to lift the right heal off the floor and begin to bend the left knee. Again, do not go too deep into this movement (aim for no more than ¼ depth).

Once you are as low as you can comfortably go with good form. Lift yourself back up straightening the legs and returning the right foot to the floor.

Then bring the right leg back in line with the left leg.

It is more important that this exercise is done correctly then how far or how deep you can go.

This is one repetition. Complete the desired number of repetitions before repeating on the opposite side.

 

Once you have mastered the above exercise you are now ready to progress.

 

Sliding lunges with poles full/close to full ROM

 

Equipment: walking poles, 1 sliding disk (can use paper plate or tea towel)

This is a 3-part movement.

Part One:

To start make sure the poles are correctly adjuster to your height. When you are holding the poles in your hands your elbow and wrist should be at a 90-degree angle with the upper arm.

Place the slider on the floor. Stepping on the slider with the front of your right foot.

Keeping the foot on the sliding disk bring the right foot back so that your feet are hip width apart and your hands are holding the poles comfortably in front of you.

Slowly side your right leg out in front of you.

Keeping the upper body tall, slowly begin to bend your right leg at the knee. At the same time, you will need to bend the left knee moving it towards the floor and lift the left heel off the floor. When you are in the lowered position your left hip should be directly over your left knee. Your right knee should be directly over your right ankle. Ensure that your right knee does not protrude past your right foot. Do not tap left knee on the floor.

Lift yourself back up straightening the legs and returning the left foot to the floor.

Then bring the right leg back in line with the left leg.

Part Two:

Start standing tall with feet hip width apart, slider under right foot holding the poles comfortably in front of you (this should be the position you ended up in at the end of part one).

Slowly move the right leg out to the side maintaining the position of the foot. Do not let the heal turn in or out, as this will put undue pressure on the knee joint. You should be able to get out of this position in a smooth and fluid motion. Your right foot and left foot should remain in line with one another.

Next shift your weight to the right side, bend your right knee, sticking your bottom out and sending your weight back.

Your left leg should be straight and extended to the side.

Slowly straighten out your right leg.

Then return your right leg to the starting position.

Part Three:

Start standing tall with feet hip width apart, slider under right foot holding the poles comfortably in front of you (this should be the position you ended up in at the end of part two).

Slowly side your right leg out behind you. Be careful not to slide the leg out too far as you need to be able to get back to the starting position in one fluid motion, without changing positions or moving the left leg.

Next keeping the upper body tall, slowly begin to lower the right knee towards the floor. To allow your right knee to move towards the floor you will need to lift the right heal off the floor and begin to bend the left knee. At the end of this movement your right knee should be directly under your right hip and your left knee should be directly over your left ankle. Ensure that the left knee does not protrude past the toes. Do not tap right knee on the floor.

Once you are as low as you can comfortably go with good form. Lift yourself back up straightening the legs and returning the right foot to the floor.

Then bring the right leg back in line with the left leg.

This is one repetition. Complete the desired number of repetitions before repeating on the opposite side.

 

Once you have mastered the sliding lunge with poles you can progress to doing the sliding lunges without the poles.

 

Sliding Lunges

 

Equipment: 1 sliding disk (can use paper plate or tea towel)

This is a 3-part movement.

Part One:

To start place the slider on the floor. Stepping on the slider with the front of your right foot.

Keeping the foot on the sliding disk bring the right foot back so that your feet are hip width apart.

Slowly side your right leg out in front of you.

Keeping the upper body tall, slowly begin to bend your right leg at the knee. At the same time, you will need to bend the left knee moving it towards the floor and lift the left heel off the floor. When you are in the lowered position your left hip should be directly over your left knee. Your right knee should be directly over your right ankle. Ensure that your right knee does not protrude past your right foot. Do not allow the left knee to make contact with the floor.

Lift yourself back up straightening the legs and returning the left foot to the floor.

Then bring the right leg back in line with the left leg.

Part Two:

Start standing tall with feet hip width apart, slider under right foot (this should be the position you ended up in at the end of part one).

Slowly move the right leg out to the side maintaining the position of the foot. Do not let the heal turn in or out, as this will put undue pressure on the knee joint. You should be able to get out of this position in a smooth and fluid motion. Your right foot and left foot should remain in line with one another.

Next shift your weight to the right side, bend your right knee, sticking your bottom out and sending your weight back.

Your left leg should be straight and extended to the side.

Slowly straighten out your right leg.

Then return your right leg to the starting position.

Part Three:

Start standing tall with feet hip width apart, slider under right foot (this should be the position you ended up in at the end of part two).

Slowly side your right leg out behind you. Be careful not to slide the leg out too far as you need to be able to get back to the starting position in one fluid motion, without changing positions or moving the left leg.

Next keeping the upper body tall, slowly begin to lower the right knee towards the floor. To allow your right knee to move towards the floor you will need to lift the right heal off the floor and begin to bend the left knee. At the end of this movement your right knee should be directly under your right hip and your left knee should be directly over your left ankle. Ensure that the left knee does not protrude past the toes. Your right knee should not make contact with the floor.

Once you are as low as you can comfortably go with good form. Lift yourself back up straightening the legs and returning the right foot to the floor.

Then bring the right leg back in line with the left leg.

This is one repetition. Complete the desired number of repetitions before repeating on the opposite side.

 

Multi Directional Lunges

 

Equipment: None needed.

This is a 3-part movement.

Part One:

Start standing tall with your feet hip width apart.

Slowly side your right leg out in front of you.

Keeping the upper body tall, slowly begin to bend your right leg at the knee. At the same time, you will need to bend the left knee moving it towards the floor and lift the left heel off the floor. When you are in the lowered position your left hip should be directly over your left knee. Your right knee should be directly over your right ankle. Ensure that your right knee does not protrude past your right foot. Do not allow the left knee to make contact with the floor.

Lift yourself back up straightening the legs and returning the left foot to the floor.

Then bring the right leg back in line with the left leg.

Part Two:

Start standing tall with feet hip width apart (this should be the position you ended up in at the end of part one).

Slowly move the right leg out to the side maintaining the position of the foot. Do not let the heal turn in or out, as this will put undue pressure on the knee joint. You should be able to get out of this position in a smooth and fluid motion. Your right foot and left foot should remain in line with one another.

Next shift your weight to the right side, bend your right knee, sticking your bottom out and sending your weight back.

Your left leg should be straight and extended to the side.

Slowly straighten out your right leg.

Then return your right leg to the starting position.

Part Three:

Start standing tall with feet hip width apart (this should be the position you ended up in at the end of part two).

Slowly side your right leg out behind you. Be careful not to slide the leg out too far as you need to be able to get back to the starting position in one fluid motion, without changing positions or moving the left leg.

Next keeping the upper body tall, slowly begin to lower the right knee towards the floor. To allow your right knee to move towards the floor you will need to lift the right heal off the floor and begin to bend the left knee. At the end of this movement your right knee should be directly under your right hip and your left knee should be directly over your left ankle. Ensure that the left knee does not protrude past the toes. Your right knee should not make contact with the floor.

Once you are as low as you can comfortably go with good form. Lift yourself back up straightening the legs and returning the right foot to the floor.

Then bring the right leg back in line with the left leg.

This is one repetition. Complete the desired number of repetitions before repeating on the opposite side.

 

 

Multi Directional Lunges with Weights in Hands

 

Equipment: two free weights.

This is a 3-part movement.

Part One:

Start standing tall with your feet hip width apart, and a weight in each hand.

Slowly side your right leg out in front of you.

Keeping the upper body tall, slowly begin to bend your right leg at the knee. At the same time, you will need to bend the left knee moving it towards the floor and lift the left heel off the floor. When you are in the lowered position your left hip should be directly over your left knee. Your right knee should be directly over your right ankle. Ensure that your right knee does not protrude past your right foot. Do not allow the left knee to make contact with the floor.

Lift yourself back up straightening the legs and returning the left foot to the floor.

Then bring the right leg back in line with the left leg.

Part Two:

Start standing tall with feet hip width apart and a weight in each hand (this should be the position you ended up in at the end of part one).

Slowly move the right leg out to the side maintaining the position of the foot. Do not let the heal turn in or out, as this will put undue pressure on the knee joint. You should be able to get out of this position in a smooth and fluid motion. Your right foot and left foot should remain in line with one another.

Next shift your weight to the right side, bend your right knee, sticking your bottom out and sending your weight back.

Your left leg should be straight and extended to the side.

Slowly straighten out your right leg.

Then return your right leg to the starting position.

Part Three:

Start standing tall with feet hip width apart and a weight in each hand (this should be the position you ended up in at the end of part two).

Slowly side your right leg out behind you. Be careful not to slide the leg out too far as you need to be able to get back to the starting position in one fluid motion, without changing positions or moving the left leg.

Next keeping the upper body tall, slowly begin to lower the right knee towards the floor. To allow your right knee to move towards the floor you will need to lift the right heal off the floor and begin to bend the left knee. At the end of this movement your right knee should be directly under your right hip and your left knee should be directly over your left ankle. Ensure that the left knee does not protrude past the toes. Your right knee should not make contact with the floor.

Once you are as low as you can comfortably go with good form. Lift yourself back up straightening the legs and returning the right foot to the floor.

Then bring the right leg back in line with the left leg.

This is one repetition. Complete the desired number of repetitions before repeating on the opposite side.

 

Four-way Multi Directional Lunges

 

Equipment: None needed. (However, you could use poles, a slider, or weights dependent on your fitness level).

This is a 4-part movement.

Part One:

Start standing tall with your feet hip width apart.

Slowly side your right leg out in front of you.

Keeping the upper body tall, slowly begin to bend your right leg at the knee. At the same time, you will need to bend the left knee moving it towards the floor and lift the left heel off the floor. When you are in the lowered position your left hip should be directly over your left knee. Your right knee should be directly over your right ankle. Ensure that your right knee does not protrude past your right foot. Do not allow the left knee to make contact with the floor.

Lift yourself back up straightening the legs and returning the left foot to the floor.

Then bring the right leg back in line with the left leg.

Part Two:

Start standing tall with feet hip width apart (this should be the position you ended up in at the end of part one).

Imagine that you are standing in the center of a clock and slowly begin to move your right leg towards to 2 o-clock position. Only go as far as you can comfortably go without readjusting your position.

Next shift your weight to the right side, bend your right knee sending your bum back while simultaneously straightening your left leg.

Lift yourself back out straightening out the right leg and bring your right leg back in line with the left leg.

Part Three:

Start standing tall with feet hip width apart (this should be the position you ended up in at the end of part two).

Slowly move the right leg out to the side maintaining the position of the foot. Do not let the heal turn in or out, as this will put undue pressure on the knee joint. You should be able to get out of this position in a smooth and fluid motion. Your right foot and left foot should remain in line with one another.

Next shift your weight to the right side, bend your right knee, sticking your bottom out and sending your weight back.

Your left leg should be straight and extended to the side.

Slowly straighten out your right leg.

Then return your right leg to the starting position.

Part Four:

Start standing tall with feet hip width apart (this should be the position you ended up in at the end of part three).

Slowly side your right leg out behind you. Be careful not to slide the leg out too far as you need to be able to get back to the starting position in one fluid motion, without changing positions or moving the left leg.

Next keeping the upper body tall, slowly begin to lower the right knee towards the floor. To allow your right knee to move towards the floor you will need to lift the right heal off the floor and begin to bend the left knee. At the end of this movement your right knee should be directly under your right hip and your left knee should be directly over your left ankle. Ensure that the left knee does not protrude past the toes. Your right knee should not make contact with the floor.

Once you are as low as you can comfortably go with good form. Lift yourself back up straightening the legs and returning the right foot to the floor.

Then bring the right leg back in line with the left leg.

This is one repetition. Complete the desired number of repetitions before repeating on the opposite side.

 

Written By:

Katie Anderson | Thrive Now Physio

Katie Anderson

Registered Kinesiologist

Clinical Exercise Physiologist

 

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