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Fitness

The Power Lunge

Cover ground with speed, strength and balance
Raphael Ruiz, owner of fitness company aXis, is a Tampa, FL–based trainer who has worked with special operations forces, Olympians and professional athletes. Photo by Chris Harrison; illustrations by Jason Lee
Raphael Ruiz, owner of fitness company aXis, is a Tampa, FL–based trainer who has worked with special operations forces, Olympians and professional athletes. Photo by Chris Harrison; illustrations by Jason Lee

Whether you’re completing a ruck to a checkpoint, moving quickly along low cover or sprinting to an objective, your body must possess the strength to carry weapons, communications and heavy gear at high velocities. Working on one basic movement will improve your ability to traverse land: the lunge. 

This workout, the third in GX’s total body series, goes beyond the conventional lunge by working on hip rotation and lateral movement. Executed properly, these exercises will also reduce lower-back injuries and knee pain by creating functional strength and developing better balance.

DRUNK STEP TO PRESS 

With a single dumbbell between 15 and 25 pounds at the right shoulder, lunge forward with the right leg, placing the right foot slightly across your midline (creating the “drunk step”). Hold the back knee just off of the floor, establishing a stretch in the back quad and hip flexor. Holding this position, steadily press the dumbbell five times overhead. Switch legs, keeping the dumbbell in the same hand. Perform five presses with the right hand while in the left lunge. Then do the same with the left hand. (Five presses in a right lunge and five presses in a left lunge.) This will complete one set. Rest 30 to 60 seconds, then repeat for two to three more sets.

SPORT CORD ROTATING LUNGE 

Using a secured sport cord, stand facing your left side and bring the cord behind you and around on your right side. This is the starting point. Hold the cord in front with both hands. Rotate to the right and step out into a right lunge with arms extended. Maintain a tall posture and rotate your shoulders to the right five times without losing your lunge position. Step the right foot back to a standing position and rest 30 to 60 seconds. Then step forward into a left lunge. With the cord still on the right side, rotate the shoulders to the right five times. Return to the standing position and rest 30 to 60 seconds. To perform the other side, wrap the cord around the left side and stand facing the right side. Then perform five rotations to the left side for each leg. This completes one set. Do two to three more sets. The cord’s resistance should be challenging but not prevent you from completing a good lunge with rotation.

FERRIS WHEEL BULGARIAN SQUATS 

Start in a left lunge position with the rear foot elevated and your back knee toward the floor into a stretch. Hold an 8- to 12-pound medicine ball overhead at the 12 o’clock position. While keeping your posture straight, take the ball around the clock five times, with the ball going through the legs. Rest for 30 to 60 seconds while switching legs, then repeat for two to three sets on each leg.

 

Warning: Always seek the advice and guidance of a qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have before commencing a fitness program. This article should not be relied on or substituted for professional medical diagnosis or treatment. The exercises presented are for suggestion only. Participate at your own risk. Stop if you feel faint or short of breath.

Raphael Ruiz, owner of fitness company aXis, is a Tampa, FL–based trainer who has worked with special operations forces, Olympians and professional athletes including Deion Sanders, Gary Sheffield and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Click here to read previous articles in this workout series. 


 

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