These stretches are specific to creating mobility in the muscle groups that can restrict the range of motion in a lunge, preventing you from utilizing your glutes and legs and thus gaining the full potential of this awesome glute building and leg shaping exercise.
Kneeling quad and hip stretch
- Place a Swiss ball against the wall. Turn your back to it, place hands on floor and put the front of your right foot against the top of the ball
- Slide your right knee to the floor then move your left foot forward to form a right angle at the left knee
- Slowly raise your torso pushing your hands against your left knee for stability. You may feel a lot of tightness through the right thigh and hip, so try to keep the chest up and breathe into the stretch as it can be intense! Hold for 30 seconds to one minute.
- To progress the stretch extend the right arm overhead and focus on “reaching” for the ceiling
- Repeat other side. If you are considerably tight in this stretch (most people are) repeat three times on each leg. Gradually you will be able to get your glute closer to your heel.
Seated Glute Stretch
- Sit on a ledge, chair or bench.
- Place your left ankle over your right knee.
- Sit up as straight as you can on your sit bones. You may need to press your hands into the seat with straight arms to get your lower back nice and straight. Keep chest lifted and breathe deeply. It will feel tight but persevere! Hold for 30 seconds to one minute.
- To progress stretch, lean forward slightly but there is no need to do this progression until you can achieve a straight lower back.
- Change sides. Repeat several times as needed.
Standing Hamstring stretch
N.b, This stretch and the seated glute stretch are two that can quickly and easily done between sets.
- Place left foot on a step or bench (ensure it is no higher than your knee height) keep the left knee slightly bent.
- Bend your right knee slightly (of the leg you are standing on) to release compression in the lower back. Try to avoid letting the posture collapse. Keep the chest up and hips back slightly. . You may have enough of a stretch purely by doing this, However to progress, just keep the chest lifted and lean forward very slightly (you can place hands lightly on your left thigh) to avoid letting the posture collapse. Keep the chest up and hips back slightly.
- You may have enough of a stretch purely by doing this, However to progress, just keep the chest lifted and lean forward very slightly (you can place hands lightly on your left thigh)
Wall Pec Stretch
This stretch I recommend for everyone to improve mobility and function of the shoulder, maintain or improve posture and to allow the muscles of the upper back to do their job. By regularly doing this stretch (daily or even several times per week) you will notice that shoulder niggles can often improve and during back training you will be able to feel the upper back muscles firing and contracting much more effectively producing more mind to muscle connection.
In terms of a lunge, this stretch will help to prevent the torso collapsing forward as you lower into the lunge, therefore allowing the range of motion to be greater, good form to be maintained and load to be more easily maintained between both legs.
- Place your left forearm against a wall (or use a corner as I am doing), ideally start with the elbow at shoulder height and check the forearm is vertical
- Place your left foot in front of the right and lean forward slightly, keeping chest up and looking ahead. You will feel the pull in the front of the left shoulder and through the outer fibres of the chest. Breathe deep and hold gently. This stretch can be quite intense. Some people will feel it around the shoulder blade region as well. Hold for 30 to 40 secs then switch sides. Repeat two to three times each arm.
- If you want to improve this stretch further, you can stretch different fibres that run across the fan shaped muscle of Pec Major, by performing the stretch in the same way but with the elbow slightly higher than the shoulder (hold for 30 to 40 secs) then move the elbow slightly lower than the shoulder and hold.