How to Drop it Low in a Lateral Lunge and Burn a Ton of Fat…

Posted: June 6, 2014 by dannytwoguns in Articles

The fitness industry as a whole, especially in current fitness trends essentially keeps everyone training in the sagittal plane. That is a fancy way of saying front to back and up and down. Any machines, treadmills and most traditional exercises fall into that category. But your real life and how you move on a daily basis in no way falls into that category.

We were meant to move in 360 degrees of range of motion. How did you get into and out of your car today or recently? Im guessing it wasn’t a completely stable straight up and down squat, it was a sort of rotational moving sideways type of squat, one leg squat type of movement and this is normal. We should also train this way.

I was running around with Geoff’s son the other day and he was running in every direction but forward and when I went to lift him up as he was running I reached down to the side to the right with my right hand, hinged sideways, and lifted him up and towards me with one arm. I didn’t make him sit still, perform a proper hip hinge forward and lift him up symmetrically with two arms. Likely when you were playing with your child or grandchild you do the same thing I did.

Most of our clients come to us for fat loss but whatever their goal is function and strength come first. And this comes in more than just a front to back and up and down mechanic.

When people first understand the need to move in multiple directions, stop moving front to back and train in 360 degrees of motion, the first exercise they tend to go to is the lateral lunge.

DVRT Courtney

Here Courtney Demonstrates an Ultimate Sandbag Shouldered Lateral Lunge

This is probably the most popular multi-directional movement but since we are always so accustomed to training front to back, sitting or standing all day, we don’t always have the adequate mobility to perform it correctly. The problem is you cant just do it. You have to responsibly train it. Training and mastering the lateral lunge will not only prepare you more readily for life’s demands but it will also burn tons of fat because it isn’t something your body is used to.

So how do you develop the mobility to perform a lateral lunge correctly? Glad you asked.

At Twoguns Training Systems we see the inability to properly perform or difficulty performing the movement all the time. It simply isn’t something people are used to and it definitely doesn’t make you a bad person if you cannot do it, it just means we are have prerequisite work to do in order to get the most bang for your buck while doing the exercise.

The following are a couple of exercises we use in our RAMP (Range of Motion, Activation and Movement Prep) before workouts and during active rest periods of the actual workout in order to build the adequate hip mobility in the frontal (side to side) and transverse (rotational) plane.

Passive Lateral Leg Lowering

– Lie flat on your back with a band wrapped around the arch of one of your feet.
– With locked knees bring both of your feet up so that you form a 90 degree angle at your hip, slightly less is okay if you have some mobility work to do.
– Bring the foot that is not in the band directly down to the side, keeping the 90 degree angle at your hip.
– Go down as far as you can until either your opposite hip comes off the floor or your moving leg drifts away from you – just before you reach either of these points, return your leg to the starting position and repeat.

Perform 10-15 reps each side.

Open ½ Kneel Hip Flexor Stretch w/ Adductor

– Start in a traditional half kneeling position and bring your front leg to the side so you have a 90 degree angle at your hips/they form a “corner”.
– From here, extend at the knee of the side leg so that your heel is resting on the ground.
DVRT GB Open Half Kneel Adductor
– Apply slight pressure into your heel (you should feel a stretch in your inner thigh/adductor area and imagine your hips as a bucket of water and slightly dump the bucket of water backwards as if it would spill behind you (or in other words perform a posterior pelvic tilt).
– Make sure the hip of the leg that is straight doesn’t cheat by biasing behind you – in other words, almost imagine if your left leg is straight, point your left hip to your right.

Hold this position/stretch for 30-45 seconds each side.

Shinbox Switch

– Start sitting on your butt, with your feet out in front, knees bent at about 90 degrees (this will depend on your tibia length).
DVRT GB Shinbox Top
– What we’re looking for is the distance that where you bring your knees down to the side, your heels are touching the bottom of your quadriceps/top of your knee. Adjust if you need to.
DVRT GB Shinbox Bottom
– Keep your chest proud and stay as tall as you possibly can. The goal here is that both knees, ankles and glutes/butt cheeks are on the ground. There will be one or two that aren’t and that is okay, but the goal is those six points of contact.
– From here, keeping your heels where they are, rotate back up to the start position and repeat on the other side.

Perform 8-10 reps each side with a 1 second pause at the bottom of each

TRX Assist Cossack Lunge

– Grab a suspension trainer/TRX so that your elbows form a 90 degree angle and take an about double shoulder width stance with your feet. You may need to be slightly wider or narrower in your stance depending on your leg length.
– Keeping your toes straight ahead (they may want to spin out/externally rotate), bend to one side while keeping your opposite leg completely straight.
– Go down as far as you can before your bent leg’s heel wants to pop up, you can no longer keep your chest proud/you round your back or your mobility simply stops you from going down further.
– This is the bottom of a traditional TRX assisted lateral lunge, we are going to make one main difference and from this position we are going to lift the toe of the straight leg so that we are on our heel, this will allow us to go down slightly further in the range of motion.
– Note how straight her back is and how vertical her left shin is. (It isn’t that easy 🙂 )
– Hold for a slight pause, bring your toe back down on the straight leg side and return to neutral/the start position. Repeat on the other side.

Perform 6-8 reps each side with a slight pause at the bottom of each rep.

Train these four exercises either in your warm up/movement preparation or in between exercises in your workout and you will quickly find you are able to perform a lateral lunge deeper and more effectively and are well on your way to training more effectively and burning more fat.

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