In our most recent Tip for Tuesday video, we shared a simple exercise with many physical benefits: the lunge. At the sound of the word, people often express that they are apprehensive to perform lunges because they are worried about pain in their hips and knees. The lunge provides an effective means by which we can strengthen and stabilize those areas of concern, and improve our ability to function without pain.

One major benefit we see in the lunge is improved muscle strength, which causes a cascade of additional benefits. There are dozens of muscles from the hip to the knee alone, including well-known muscle groups such as the hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes. These muscle groups work to keep us upright and moving, performing movements from front to back and side to side. When these muscles are strong and used frequently, we experience improved balance. The body adapts by improving your ability to remain balanced both when moving, and at rest. Stronger muscles often lead to stronger joints. Muscles join bones together and allow us to move. If the muscles surrounding joints are strong and balanced, our joints are able to function within their naturally designed movement patterns.

Strengthened muscles  ->  Improved balance  ->  Stable joints  ->  Optimal functionality

When performing a lunge, you do not need equipment or a specific workout facility. Simply designate a space which allows you to move freely forward or backwards for the distance of a few steps. For an interactive video describing proper lunge mechanics, follow along with our most recent Tip for Tuesday video:

The simplest lunges involve a single step forward, and returning to your normal stance. To improve muscle recruitment and balance, you can follow through your initial lunge with an additional step forward on your opposite foot (as if you were walking down a hallway, lunging with each step). Additional variations include lunging backwards, or even sideways. Maintaining proper mechanics ensures that the action is being performed correctly, so that all benefits can take place.

We invite you to incorporate lunges into your daily routine and experience the benefits! Feel free to join the Columbia River Chiropractic staff as we take on the challenge of 100 lunges per day for 30 days. As always, our goal at Columbia River Chiropractic is to promote functionality and healthy learning. If there are any questions or concerns about your health and function, please view additional resources or schedule a visit with us at:

Yours in health,

Dr. Eric

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