Step 1

Starting Position: Stand with your feet together and your arms raised in front to shoulder height, with your elbows fully extended. Depress and retract your scapulae (pull your shoulders down and back) without arching your low back, and "brace" (engage your abdominal/core muscles) to stiffen your spine.

 

Step 2

From the same starting position, step out sideways with the right foot (both feet remain pointed forward) to the 3 o'clock position. Once the foot is firmly placed on the floor, begin to bend at the hips, pushing them backwards while simultaneously shifting your weight over that same foot. Continue shifting your weight until your tibia (shinbone) is vertical to the floor and your knee is aligned directly over the second toe of that foot. Your left leg should be near, or at full extension while keeping the right foot flat. The heels of both feet should stay flat on the floor.

 

Step 3

While lunging, simultaneously move your arms and lean your torso in the opposite direction to the lunge movement, increasing the load on your glute muscle group. Firmly push off with your front leg, activating both your quads and glutes (thighs and butt muscles) to return to your upright, starting position.

 

Step 4

From the same starting position, step with one foot in front and across the body (both feet remain pointed forward). Once the foot is firmly placed on the floor, begin to bend at the hips, pushing them backwards while simultaneously shifting your weight over that same foot. Continue shifting your weight until your tibia (shinbone) is vertical to the floor and your knee is aligned directly over the second toe of that foot. Your opposite leg should be flexed with the heel off the ground.

 

Step 5

While lunging, simultaneously rotate your torso and arms in the opposite direction to the lunge movement, increasing the load on your gluteal muscle group. Firmly push off with your front leg, activating both your quads and glutes (thighs and butt muscles) to return to your upright, starting position.

This series of multi-directional (multi-planar) lunges are intended to activate your glutes which protect your knee during walking, running and jumping-type activities. As many of us have weak glutes, this exercise can be performed as part of your pre-exercise warm-up. Given the moderate degree of complexity of the three movements, we recommend learning this exercise first without your arms and only progress to the arm drivers as you feel comfortable. It is suggested, you first learn how to perform single leg-stands on the ground and forward lunges before performing these glute activation lunges.

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