Sherri McMillan

Lunge Your Way to Strong Hips

Strong hips will strengthen the integrity of your knees and connective tissue and, ultimately, will enhance your running, climbing, jumping, skiing and overall health.

The best program for strengthening and sculpting any area is to incorporate a variety of exercises that progressively challenge the muscles in different ways.

To strengthen your glutes (hips), a popular exercise is the lunge (static and dynamic). There are a ton of lunge variations and some are better at activating your glutes.


Basic Lunge – Also Referred to as a Split Squat

Start with one leg positioned in front of the other leg. Keep the front knee over top of the ankle or forefoot. Keep the back knee underneath or slightly behind your hips. Slowly lower the back knee towards the ground keeping the front knee over top the ankle/foot the entire time. Only lower as low as you feel comfortable. Keep your body weight leaning forward in a hip hinge and positioned over the front leg – this is your working leg. Maintain a long spine with proper posture and keep your abdominals contracted. Complete 8-15 reps each leg.

  • Adjust your range of motion as the strength of your muscles and joints allow. If just getting started, only lunge down a few inches. As you get stronger, you can lunge deeper towards the ground.
  • Hold hand weights to increase the load and intensity of this exercise.

Forward/Walking Lunge

Start with your feet together and standing tall. Lunge forward with one leg, keeping the front knee over top of the ankle or forefoot. Keep the back knee underneath or slightly behind your hips. Slowly lower the back knee towards the ground keeping the front knee over top the ankle/foot the entire time. Only lower as low as you feel comfortable. Keep your body weight leaning forward in a hip hinge and positioned over the front leg – this is your working leg. Maintain a long spine with proper posture and keep your abdominals contracted. Slowly push forward, lift the back foot off the ground by utilizing your hip muscles of the front leg, come all the way back to a standing position and swing the leg through to another lunge forward on the opposite leg. Complete 8-15 reps each leg.

 


Lunge with Rotation

 

Complete walking lunges as noted above but add a torso rotation towards the front leg with each lunge. The rotation adds a greater glute activation.

 

 


Lunge and Reach

Complete walking lunges as noted above but add a reach forwards and towards the ground with each lunge. The reach forward adds a greater glute activation.


Side Lunge

Start with your feet together and standing tall. Lunge to the right (sideways/lateral), keeping the right knee over top of the ankle or forefoot and the left knee extended and slightly bent. Keep your knee and foot stacked and pointed in the same direction. Only lower as low as you feel comfortable. Keep your body weight leaning forward in a hip hinge and positioned over the lunging leg – this is your working leg. Maintain a long spine with proper posture and keep your abdominals contracted.  Return to the starting position. Complete 8-15 reps each leg.

  • Include a torso rotation towards the lunging leg to increase glute activation
  • Include a reach down and forward and/or lateral to increase glute activation

Perform strength movements 2 to 3 times per week. Complete 1-3 sets of 8-15 reps of various lunge type movements within your strength program.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

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Northwest Personal Training is NOW OPEN! We are SO EXCITED to see you! For Private Training, you’ll have the option to continue doing virtual training, outdoor training or training at the studio. For Group Fitness classes, you will be able to continue doing virtual online classes (live or saved) and we are also going to host some outdoor programming.

We specific safety precautions that we have in place so please watch this video where I explain everything we are doing to keep you safe.

Here is a link to our Reopening Protocol in detail so you can review closely.

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Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 30 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver and Salmon Creek, hosts races at WHY Racing Events, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at nwpersonaltraining.com.

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