Step 1

Starting Position:  Using two stacks of risers; height not exceeding the top of your gastrocnemius (calf) muscle, place a body bar/broomstick across the top, leaving enough room between the stacks for you to step over it laterally.  Make a total of 2-4 stations, lining them up with enough room for you to do a side lunge between them.  Stand directly next to the broomstick, so it is perpendicular to your right leg.  Your feet should be hip- width apart, toes pointing forward or turned slightly outwards, with arms by your sides and elbows flexed (bent) to 90 degrees. Stiffen your abdominal muscles (“brace”) to stabilize your spine, then depress and retract your scapulae (pull shoulders down and back) without arching your low back. Hold your chest up and out, tilt your head slightly up, and shift your weight over your heels

 

Step 2

Shift your bodyweight into your left leg and lift your right foot off of the ground and bend at the hips, pushing them backwards, while simultaneously shifting your weight to your left leg.  Maintain abdominal “bracing” and alignment. Continue loading your weight into the LEFT leg while lifting the right foot off the ground and bringing your right leg over the broomstick to hip flexion with your knee at a 90 degree angle in alignment with your hips. Your right foot should remain in dorsi-flexion (toes pulled up towards your shin) with the toes pointing forward. Place the right foot down on the opposite side of the broomstick (dowel rod) and shift your weight into your right hip to prepare to bring your left foot over the obstacle to place it next to the right. Level your hips and secure your balance.

 

Step 3

Place your right foot on the ground and bend at the hips, pushing them backwards, while simultaneously shifting your weight to your right leg.  Maintain abdominal “bracing” and alignment. Continue loading your weight into the RIGHT leg while lifting the left foot off the ground and bringing your left leg over the broomstick to hip flexion with your knee at a 90 degree angle in alignment with your hips. Your left foot should remain in dorsi-flexion (the toes pulled up towards the shin) with the toes pointing forward. Level your hips and secure your balance. Place your left foot on the ground, ending in the same body position as you started.

 

Step 4

“Unders” Continue the exercise stepping your right foot to the side, while keeping your weight over your heels and both feet facing forward step your right leg to the side. Once your right foot is firmly placed on the floor, bend at the hips, pushing them backwards while simultaneously shifting your weight towards the right foot. Continue shifting your weight over the right foot until your tibia (shinbone) is vertical to the floor and your right knee is aligned directly over the second toe of your right foot. The goal is to sit deep into the lunge brining the glutes level with the right knee. Your left leg should be at full extension at the knee and your body weight should still be distributed into the right hip. The heels of both feet should stay flat on the floor. Push through your right heel and lift the left leg off the floor bringing it in to starting position.

 

Step 5

Continue into the next over/under until you reach the end.  Facing the same direction, come back down the line leading with your left foot. 

 

When stepping over the broomstick, be sure not to step too wide to avoid contacting the broomstick with the extended leg.  Contacting the broom stick a can cause it to move resulting in a loss of balance and injury.  A common mistake when performing a body weight side lunge is that individuals often step too wide and are unable to align the tibia (shinbone) over the placed foot and the knee falls inside the foot. In this case, simply shorten the width of the step taken to allow you to align the tibia over the placed foot.

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