T Nation

Lunges - Kicking My *ss!

Gosh - I am ashamed to admit to how LITTLE weight I can manage when doing lunges. This coming from a guy who regularly squats with 300+. All these years I have ignored lunges as a “girlie” exercise but recently decided to give them a try and I can report that I am feeling new muscles in my butt and elsewhere that I haven’t felt before.

Along with dumbbell step-ups I am finding that I am really enjoying new variety in my leg training. And there are some interesting variations I plan to try with lunges once I gain some respectable strength in the “static lunge”.

If you haven’t given lunges and step-ups a go - I would highly recommend incorporating them into your leg routine!

If I ever want to be unable to walk properly the next few days, I do heavy lunges.
I’ve been increasing my squat the last year finally to 300, but lunges, just with two 50lb dumb bells, can wreck me. For some reason, they’re also ridiculously fatiguing , and its hard for me to go straight through my sets.

That being said, I’ve seen some guys do some weird things with barbell lunges. Some of it (side to side lunges) and I can kinda understand. But the rest (legs crossed?) just seems like a bad idea.

-Gendou

Mix in Bulgarian split squats, too. I’m doing them as superset with step-ups, while yelling “Alwyn Cosgrove! You’re gonna die!”:wink:

I am ashamed to admit that I have a damn hard time doing lunges at all.

I recently started trying to do them, and I am completely un-coordinated at it. Somehow I can’t make my body do them right. If you were to see me, I look like some kind of giant duck or wild turkey with a broken leg. Half the time I feel like I am about to lose my balance and fall over and crack my head or ass. Not gonna stop tying though.

So kudos to you for getting them done.

[quote]e-loo wrote:
I am ashamed to admit that I have a damn hard time doing lunges at all.

I recently started trying to do them, and I am completely un-coordinated at it. Somehow I can’t make my body do them right. If you were to see me, I look like some kind of giant duck or wild turkey with a broken leg. Half the time I feel like I am about to lose my balance and fall over and crack my head or ass. Not gonna stop tying though.

So kudos to you for getting them done.[/quote]

Ditto to everything you guys said. I squat in the 300-400# range also. But the other day, I tried some lunges and thought I would die. Mainly from kalling down and hitting my head. What makes lunges so damn hard?

[quote]dogsoldier wrote:
What makes lunges so damn hard?

[/quote]

In my opinion it would be…Proprioception.

What makes them hard? Well, look at it this way. Take your best weight and add your body weight. This is to figure out how much weight your system is squatting. Divide this by 2. This is the load on each side. Back out your bodyweight and this is the load, nearly, to match. For instance. 200 lb guy, squats 400. 600 total. each supports 300. add 100lbs and each is supporting 300 during a lunge. YES, the back foot is grabbing a bit of the load, but still.
Makes it seem not so sissy, huh. Step ups remove that load share. Single limb squats, step ups and lunges are not as sissified as they were once labeled.

But you don’t even break parallel with a lunge. I can lunge and split squat more than I can squat.

Thank Christ I am not the only one!

I’m in the same squatting range (+ 300) and they kick me every time. Around the 60 lb mark is the limit.

I don’t avoid squat workouts but I can always find an excuse to skip lunges.

However, I found I can do higher weights when I go explosively as opposed to the controlled way I think most of us do them. So if your ego’s the problem, go fast; on the other hand, sometimes it pays to be humbled.

If we are looking for excuses, though, I’d say the low weights are because lunges are generally tacked onto the end of a leg workout and aren’t the primary focus - although for a change and to take the weight of the back a few weeks couldn’t hurt … Unless you do them right!

[quote]wfifer wrote:
But you don’t even break parallel with a lunge. I can lunge and split squat more than I can squat. [/quote]

You’re not doing lunges properly.

Do you guys do them with the back leg as straight as possible or do you bend the back leg? Do any of you get hamstring cramps?

[quote]krayon wrote:
Do you guys do them with the back leg as straight as possible or do you bend the back leg? Do any of you get hamstring cramps?[/quote]

I do them with bent knee. I don’t really see the point of straightening the back leg as the front is carrying the weight. My trick is to fold my towel a few times, put it where the back knee would rest and then only go down as much as needed to lightly touch the towel surface.

TQB

[quote]tpa wrote:
wfifer wrote:
But you don’t even break parallel with a lunge. I can lunge and split squat more than I can squat.

You’re not doing lunges properly.[/quote]

Why, because I can do them and you can’t? That’s mature, really.

Let’s see, one foot forward…drop until back knee is just off the ground…front thigh parallel to the floor…yep, pretty sure I’ve got it.

Reverse lunges are worse for me.

[quote]Mike Sullivan wrote:
dogsoldier wrote:
What makes lunges so damn hard?

In my opinion it would be…Proprioception.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proprioception [/quote]

Or I can just be uncoordinated

[quote]wfifer wrote:
tpa wrote:
wfifer wrote:
But you don’t even break parallel with a lunge. I can lunge and split squat more than I can squat.

You’re not doing lunges properly.

Why, because I can do them and you can’t? That’s mature, really.

Let’s see, one foot forward…drop until back knee is just off the ground…front thigh parallel to the floor…yep, pretty sure I’ve got it. [/quote]

I think tpa’s point might be related to the fact you can lunge and/or split squat more than you can squat bilaterally. Logically that does’nt make much sense which may have been the rationale for tpa’s post.

Even if your performing full “olympic” back squats one would think heavier weight would be used in the squat than lunge unless the lunges are “high”. Just my two cents.

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As was probably pointed out - I believe the difficulty lies in the fact that you are having to utilzie so many more muscle fibers for the lateral support required to balance your body. Squat - not much lateral balance required; lunges/step-ups mucho lateral balance required. At any rate I am very glad to have “discovered” these exercises! Just goes to show an old dog can learn new tricks.

If you can’t do 'em - just practice your balance by holding onto something with the off-side hand - you will eventually get it. Even still, on some reps I feel like I am going to fall over sideways.

Bulgarian split squats is brutal. Hardest unilateral exercise i’ve found. Good stuff :slight_smile:

[quote]wfifer wrote:
But you don’t even break parallel with a lunge. I can lunge and split squat more than I can squat. [/quote]

Bullcrap