T Nation

Forward Lunge Danger?

@CT I am wondering your thoughts on this. I recall John Broz arguing that those who think the squat is dangerous often are proponents of the lunge. He referenced his ex girlfriend who tore her meniscus lunging and he argue the squat is safer. I tend to agree the squat is safer and I don’t know who some fitness advocates put so much primacy on single leg movements being safe. Take the bulgarian split squat and if the back foot is elevated too high then their poses a risk to the lower back.

Is the squat and possible the dead-squat safer in your opinion than weighted single leg work?

To me lunging forward with 300lb and having the other kneecap hit the ground looks like it can create a whole host of injuries.

A forward lunge can indeed be more dangerous than a squat. I personally have a tendency to suffer from patellar tendonitis and can’t do lunges, yet squats, front squats, overhead squats, dead-squats are no problem.

It’s not so much the unilateral aspect of these exercises that is dangerous… in the front lunge it is easier for the patella to push against the tendon, which can cause a tendonitis overtime. Bulgarian split squats are safer, but need to be done with only a low elevation to work optimally. But they offer less range of motion at the knee joint than squats, so I don’t see them as being more effective than squatting.

I’m not a unilateral guy. I’m a squat, deadlift, clean and snatch guy. While I see some value to a small amount of supplementary unilateral work, I certainly would not make it a big part of my weekly volume.

Great response and I agree 100%. I just am seeing such bullshit in the industry on which exercise is dangerous and which is safer. I do not understand the rationale when someone argues you should not back squat because of the force on your lower back yet you should rear foot elevate single leg squat with weight on your back and one foot elevated on a bench.

All exercising can be dangerous but I feel lunging forward or backward with 300lbs on your back dynamically is much more technical than planted squatting.

[quote]nickj_777 wrote:
Great response and I agree 100%. I just am seeing such bullshit in the industry on which exercise is dangerous and which is safer. I do not understand the rationale when someone argues you should not back squat because of the force on your lower back yet you should rear foot elevate single leg squat with weight on your back and one foot elevated on a bench.

All exercising can be dangerous but I feel lunging forward or backward with 300lbs on your back dynamically is much more technical than planted squatting.[/quote]

A while ago I was training an NHL pro (future all of famer, scored over 500 goals) and had him do squats.

This other coach who worked with some players too (I wont mention names or situation) told me that I shouldn’t have him do squats because he wasn’t “structurally ready” for them (never mind the fact that the guy had hips as big a Paul Anderson and squatted over 400lbs in the past). Then I saw the same coach have his guys do strongman exercises (log lift, farmer’s walk, etc.) with the worst form ever… some people just wanna sound smarter than they really are.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
A forward lunge can indeed be more dangerous than a squat. I personally have a tendency to suffer from patellar tendonitis and can’t do lunges, yet squats, front squats, overhead squats, dead-squats are no problem.

[/quote]

Can you do the squat Rippetoe-style without pain, CT?

Also, I read the news on your medical situation … God bless you!

flip the switch to females, I train mostly girls and us a feverse lung and step ups mostly. Hip and knee structure limits alot of the creative ideas. I also love the prowler, most of the coaches around here are to closed minded to grow. Can you add other tennis, basketball ideas?.

[quote]markusofrapid wrote:
flip the switch to females, I train mostly girls and us a feverse lung and step ups mostly. Hip and knee structure limits alot of the creative ideas. I also love the prowler, most of the coaches around here are to closed minded to grow. Can you add other tennis, basketball ideas?.[/quote]

Reverse lunges are fine, much less strain on the knees. I used prowler pushing and reverse prowler pushing with a bodybuilder who had a knee injury, the prowler was his only leg exercise and his legs came in great.

@CT would the dead-squat be a safer option for female lifters because of the Q angle hips if their goal is purely aesthetic development of their legs?

[quote]nickj_777 wrote:
@CT would the dead-squat be a safer option for female lifters because of the Q angle hips if their goal is purely aesthetic development of their legs?[/quote]

Versus what, the squat or the lunge?

Lunging I believe is a given but for a woman who does not compete in power lifting or olympic lifting would the dead-squat be safer over the squat because of the Q angle ?

Hi CT,

I would be interested to hear what other measure you take/rehab you do for your patella tendonitis??
I find that the back squat irritates my patella tendonitis a lot more than lunging does.

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[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]markusofrapid wrote:
flip the switch to females, I train mostly girls and us a feverse lung and step ups mostly. Hip and knee structure limits alot of the creative ideas. I also love the prowler, most of the coaches around here are to closed minded to grow. Can you add other tennis, basketball ideas?.[/quote]

Reverse lunges are fine, much less strain on the knees. I used prowler pushing and reverse prowler pushing with a bodybuilder who had a knee injury, the prowler was his only leg exercise and his legs came in great.[/quote]

CT, I would love to know what you did with that bodybuilder’s lower body training! I’ve suffered with bouts of patellar tendonitis for years and have found that pushing and pulling a sled doesn’t bother it at all. I think it would make a great article as there have been many people on tnation whom have discussed prowler/sled training as their only lower body training. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!