Dr. Jon Hyman

Jon Hyman, MD

Lunge

lunge form

To get the maximum benefit from the movement, and to protect your knees from injury (especially the patella or knee cap cartilage), it is important not to smash your trailing knee into the floor. Your knee should just barely make contact with the floor and not collide with it. Many people are trying to move too quickly through the lunge and therefore either don't make proper contact or jam their knee down.  The more gradual lowering of the knee straight down does more muscle work and development and saves your cartilage. If you are doing a high volume of lunges, especially with weight, you might consider using knee pads, like I do at times - to allow some impact but not smash the prepatellar bursa, skin or your cartilage.

lunge anatomy

The other important part is that the lead leg should remain vertical, so the shin (tibia) is straight up and down, not allowing your lead knee to be over or in front of your toes. You need to lunge far enough forward so your finish position keeps a vertical front leg. This can also help protect the cartilage in your knee.

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Our thanks to FlexBuilding: A New Way to Move. A New Way to Live. for providing the anatomical images for this website.

Tips & Techniques

Box Jump Overs

Whether jumping over a box, a tire, or a barbell, the jump requires explosive recruitment of specific muscles. Pre-loading muscles and increasing starting spring coil length has an impact.

Lunge

To get the maximum benefit from the movement, and to protect your knees from injury (especially the patella or knee cap cartilage), it is important not to smash your trailing knee into the floor.

Muscle Ups

This complex gymnastics movement has become a trademark move of sorts in CrossFit. It requires power, coordination, timing and technique. Some people take years to get muscle ups.

Plank

The appearance of the plank carries a degree of simplicity that masquerades it's power. Proper form in this position creates a great deal of core stability and base power.

The Kettle Bell

Tough on the low back. Keep chest up and don’t let it pull your face down toward the floor as the kettle bell passes back between your legs.

The Rope Climb

Multiple Injury opportunities here. When executed well, you can blast up and down the rope like a seasoned inchworm on steroids.

Wall Ball Shots

Moving a fixed weight a fixed distance. Up. A great exercise when done in good form. A good benchmark to use to measure your progress in strength and endurance.

Your Body & Injury

Elbow

The biceps tendon can tear up by the shoulder (rupture of the long head of the biceps) or tear by the elbow.

Foot and Ankle

Achilles Injuries. Most commonly, CrossFitters will sustain overuse tendinits.

Hips

CrossFit and Plyometrics involves a fair amount of squatting and crouching. Wallballs, slam balls, olympic power lifts, eg squat cleans etc, all involve ‘dropping down low’ and getting your hip crease below knee crease.

Knees

Knees are more than just the platform that supports our stance, run and squat.

Muscle

Muscle physiology is a complex science. There are fast twitch, slow twitch muscle fibers and elaborate mechanisms of enhancing strength, power, endurance speed and fatigue resistance of muscle.

Shoulder

There are two labra or labrums in the body. They are both at somewhat high risk in the Sports of Fitness activities which involve a lot of deep squatting and overhead lifting.

Spine

The spine is a complex anatomic masterpiece of axial structural support for our body.

Wrist

Sprains and tendonitis are the most common ailments.

American Academy for Orthopaedic Surgeons American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine International Society for Hip Arthroscopy
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