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Exercise: Reverse Lunge with Rapid Hip Flexion

A movement analysis of many sport disciplines reveals that the "Lunge" and it's variations are the most common movement patterns utilized by athletes.  From a sport perspective, the Forward Lunge is the most common variation, however from a sport and athletic training perspective, the "Reverse" Lunge is most beneficial variation in the training and development of speed, and strength.

The reverse lunge excites greater eccentric load through the posterior kinetic chain, which when efficiently executed can induce enhancements in the stretch-shortening-cycle, movement coordination, and power development.  When rapid hip flexion is included, the transfer of these benefits to the sport field is enhanced, particularly for athletes looking to improve their acceleration, linear running velocity, and jump height profile.
Primary Muscle Groups: Gluteus Medius & Maximus, Quadriceps (Vastus Lateralis, Rectus Femoris, Vastus Medialis and Vastus Intermedialis), Hamstrings (Biceps Femoris, Semimembranuous & Semitendinuous), Hip Flexors, and the deep musculature of the Back and Abdomen.
Technique Ques: The athlete begins this exercise by standing with their feet shoulder width apart, toes pointing forward.  The athlete proceeds by dropping their body weight backwards by extending 1-Leg behind them.  The athlete extends their leg while flexing their forward knee until they reach a position of 90o of forward knee flexion, and approximately 150o of back knee extension.
The athlete should prevent their back knee from contacting the ground during the lunge movement.
When a table and balance lunge position is reached, the athlete then proceeds by pushing through the glutes of the forward flexed leg, to push out of the lunge position, while simultaneously pulling the extended back leg forward to a approximately 90o of hip flexion. After reaching a final position where the athlete is standing on 1 foot, with the opposite leg's hip flexed to a minimum of 90o, the athlete repeats the movement by extending the hip back into the reverse lunge position.

Arm Movement:
A natural component of all cyclical movement patterns is the coordinated, and synchronized movement of counteracting moment arms.  The reverse lunge should include opposite side arm movement that is of equal speed to leg movement.  For example, when the left leg is the forward leg, the right arm flexes as the left leg drops into flexion.  However, the athlete may limit the degree and speed of their movement when learning the exercise, progressively increasing the speed of their movement as technique execution improves.
Options for Progression: An athlete can progress the difficulty of this exercise by increasing the speed of the movement, by increasing the distance of the lunge, by holding an external weight, or by increasing the number of sets and repetitions completed.  Progressions should only be made once correct technique is achieved.

Additional Hip Flexor Exercises:

Forward Lunge with Hip Flexion
Bench Step-Ups with rapid Hip Flexion


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