And by video on Monday, I should’ve said Tuesday. The following things have not quite come together today – free time, good lighting, availability of properly weighted dumbbells, and a person to film or a functioning tripod. So, in lieu of video, here are the other two exercises at the top of my favorites list. Videos for all three tomorrow!
Hinge Forward Lunge (Alternating)- with Dumbbells
The hinge forward lunge and other lateral lunge versions will challenge your body in unique ways compared to the traditional versions mentioned above. As with any new exercise, use caution when performing the first few repetitions. And take a quick peak at my ‘Remember’ notice from Saturday’s (8/16) post.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand relaxed & at your sides. Stand with your feet hip width apart and parallel. ‘Simon’ says take a small step forward – approximately your normal stride length or a tad longer. Transfer most of your weight to the front leg as you hinge forward at the hips. Keep your shoulders back, and core tight (pull your navel toward your spine & keep it there at beginning of each rep) and refrain from rounding your lower back. Your front knee will bend as you do the hinge motion. Lower your torso toward your front knee as far as is comfortable.
Tension should occur your forward hamstring. Depending upon the flexibility of your achilles and tightness of your calf, the heel of your back foot may raise slightly from the floor. Go with what’s comfortable for you. Reverse the bent over position while pushing back through the ball of the front foot in order to more easily return to standing, feet together. Repeat on the opposite leg. Alternate sides 8-10 repetitions per side. Rest 30 sec to 1 min. If you are comfortable with the motion perform 1-2 additional sets.
If you fatigue or your form, especially keeping your core tight/protecting your lower back starts to falter. Take a longer break, reduce the number of sets, lower your weight, or all of the above.
Single DB Stepping Lateral Goblet Lunge
Hold a single dumbbell lengthwise in front of your chest with your elbows pointing down. This is known in the kettlebell and strength training world as goblet position. For the beginner set, begin with your feet wide, think twice shoulder width, with your feet pointing straight ahead. Hinge at the hip by pushing your hips back and squat to one side. Both feet should be flat on the floor and the leg that you’re leaning away from should be straight. In order to keep your weight over your heels where it should be, lean your upper body forward as you bend your ‘working’ knee.
Be mindful of keeping your shoulders back (aka proud chest) to keep your lower back flat. Also centering your bodyweight over your heels should help keep your shin on the working leg vertical. In all squatting and lunging motions it’s butt back, not knees forward.
Return to the starting position keeping your feet wide and lunge to the opposite side.
If you’d like to try your hand at increasing difficulty of the motion, begin with your feet together on each rep and step wide laterally. Sequence is – step, lower yourself to the bottom of the lunge (working in a range comfortable for you). Push through the heel to return to the starting position. Perform 8-10 repetitions per side for a total of 2-3 sets.