Exercise: Lunges (Standing Lunges, Walking Lunges, Star Lunges)
Targeted Muscles: Hips and thighs
Success of this exercise depends not on what the front leg does, but what the back leg does. Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and the stomach drawn in. Next, take a step forward with your left leg and drive the right leg straight down toward the floor. This will assist with maintaining an alignment whereby the left knee is in-line with the left ankle. Keeping the knee in-line with the ankle will minimize shearing forces in the knee and subsequently assist with decreasing the incidence of anterior knee pain. Avoid the knee progressing forward of the ankle in the forward leg. After lunging forward, you may return to the starting position and execute this maneuver starting with the right leg. As an option, instead of returning to the starting position, continue performing the lunge with each step progressing forward; walking lunges or perform them in multiple planes; star lunges. Perform either standing, walking, or star lunges or walking lunges for 3-5 minutes.
Start with your feet shoulder width apart and your stomach in. As you step forward, attempt to keep the knee in line with the ankle. To more easily accomplish this, be sure to drop the back leg straight down. By keeping the knee in line with the ankle, this will help minimize the shearing forces to the anterior knee and help in preventing injury.
Performed similarly to standing lunges, but after your first step, continue lunging forward. Again, the emphasis is on maintaining the knee in line with the ankle. When you have reached the end of your path, go ahead, turn around, and return lunging with the emphasis of the knee in line with the ankle.
Remember to keep your stomach in, shoulders down and back, and progress forward until you reach a degree of fatigue, usually 3 to 5 minutes.
Start by stepping forward with your right leg. Then lunge forward with your left. Next, lunge forward out at 45 degrees with the right and 45 degrees with the left. Finally, 90 degrees to the right and lunge out at 90 degrees to the left.
Perform this series 5 to 10 times.