If Lunges Hurt DO These 3 Drills

These moves work FAST

Do you have knee pain during lunges?

Sometimes the perfect technique isn’t enough. You might need more help.

In this article, I’ll show you my favorite exercises for making knees stronger and less painful. Soon you’ll be lunging like a CHAMP!

Watch the video and read below to learn more!

Unstable Foot

Probably the most common error is a forward weight shift.

When the center of mass shifts forward, the heel rises off the ground, and the back rounds.

The solution: bring the center of mass backward.

Now it’s not always so easy because usually there’s some stiffness in the hips and back that need to be removed. But I got you, fam.

Offset Stance Walking Wall Squat

  1. Start standing roughly two feet from a wall
  2. Step forward 1-2 inches with one foot to offset your stance
  3. Palms on wall
  4. Exhale + hips back + chest down
  5. Keep hips back, squat and walk down the wall
  6. Stop when the hips can no longer move
  7. Hold this position for 5 breaths (silent in through the nose, soft out through the mouth

Mistakes to look out for:

  • Make sure the feet stay flat on the ground
  • Pushing the hips back too far results in back rounding; avoid this
  • Exhales and inhales should be full, but easy

Arching Back and Knee Valgus

Perhaps TIED with the most common error seen in a lunge is the knee collapse and arched back.

You see, we need hip internal rotation to hit full range of motion on our lunges. But arching the back causes the hip to internally rotate too soon.

The lunge (or “forward lunge” if we’re being precise) is dynamic, meaning there is a floating period as you step out where no force is required, followed by a jolt of force when the foot hits the ground. Can’t handle this speed? Then back arches and knee caves in.

We’ve got to learn how to prevent that arching and keep the body upright.

Enter: the asymmetrical wall sit.

Asymmetrical Wall Sit

  1. Start standing with heels roughly 6 inches away from a wall
  2. Scoot the right foot forward roughly 1-2 inches to offset your stance
  3. Exhale, unlock the knees
  4. Shift the right knee forward to match the stance
  5. Hold this position for 5 breaths
  6. Repeat on the other side

Mistakes to look out for:

  • Make sure to push through the inside heel and arch of the feet
  • Exhales and inhales should be full, but easy
  • Stay long through the top of the head so as not to allow the chest to collapse

Too Much Weight on the Trailing Leg

Our final mistake to discuss is holding too much of the body weight on the trailing leg. This is especially likely if your knee pain is in the trailing knee.

You can usually identify this when someone is leaning backward during lunges, particularly when pushing back up to the starting position.

What happens when you lean back? Your back tightens. Let’s fix it!

Quadruped on Elbows Wall Push

  1. Start on elbows and knees with palms flat in the ground out away from you and roughly 4-6 inches from the wall
  2. Eyes look between fingertips
  3. Exhale and GENTLY push chest away from ground
  4. Press inner heel and big toe base into wall
  5. Hold and quietly breathe, in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Mistakes to look out for:

  • When pushing the elbows into the ground, avoid crunching the back
  • Exhales and inhales should be full, but easy

Next Steps to Master the Lunge

There we go! Now you have three exercises to help clean up knee pain during lunges.

If lunges are still bothering you, check out my buddy’s article on common technique mistakes that can cause knee pain during lunges.

And hey, even if you’re feeling good, you might pick up some new tips from him!