Monday, March 22, 2010

Lunges, lunges and more lunges! (and some squats, too)

On my other blog, Sisters From Different Misters, I wrote about my love/hate relationship with Tamilee Webb. The specific blog: I must be missing my army days... I wrote about how I hate, hate HATE lunges.
But something funny happened. I love lunges now.
Personally, I think I have a sick sadistic way about myself where I find pleasure in pain. From workouts only. (See, back in the day, I used to have a problem with cutting. That is a topic of discussion for another day.)
Anywho, finding pleasure in pain through workouts is a great! I'm not talking about the ouch, sharp pain. I'm talking about this sucks, my muscles are burning and shaking pain. It's great! And that's how I've overcome my hatred for lunges.
I did so many, in a bunch of different variations that I learned to love them, and master them. The best part about being able to do lunges well has improved my balance. When I was 17 and in the Army, I broke my hip. This depleted my balance and made it difficult to do simple things, such as putting my pants on without having to hold onto something for stabilization. It has also helped with my running ability.
Here's what kind of lunges and squats I did, all courtesy of Miss Webb:
1. The Sumo Squat: by putting your feet shoulder length apart, turn out your toes to an extended first position. It resembles a Sumo wrestler's stance.
2. The Reverse Lunge: With alternating legs, step back with your right leg first into a deep lunge. Then when pushing back up, raise your knee up to hip level before switching legs.
3. The Split Lunge: In a split lunge stance, slowly lower and raise your right leg, being careful not to put your weight past your knee.
4. Kick Boxing Lunge: Lunge forward, kick with the opposite leg while returning to standing, lunge backwards and stand back to neutral.
And my FAVORITE, which adds a cardio benefit:
5. Squat variation: In three steps, start by moving to the right. Squat out to the right three times, squat back to neutral three times, then step out to the left and squat three times, then squat back to neutral three times. Then step out to the right in a Sumo squat (and follow the above repetition.) Then go back to regular squats. You repeat this so that it's 3 squats in each position, then 2, then 1, then you go from squat, sumo, squat, neutral.

Whew! Did you follow all of that?


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