Step 1

Starting Position: Stand with your feet parallel facing forward and hip-width apart. Position your hands where comfortable to help you maintain your balance during the exercise. Stiffen your torso by contracting your core and abdominal muscles ("bracing"). Keep your head facing slightly upwards and shift your weight onto your heels.

Step 2

Inhale and gently unload your right leg, slowly stepping to the right while keeping your weight over your heels and both feet facing forward. 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. Your left leg should be near, or 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. Keep your left foot flat on the floor as you allow your weight to shift into your right hip and alternate. Feel free to position your arms where necessary to help maintain your balance, reaching for your right foot with your left hand will emphasize hip flexion (alternate with the right hand reaching for the left foot).

Step 3

Exhale and push off firmly with your right leg, returning your body to your starting position. Repeat the movement for the opposite side.

A common mistake when performing a 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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