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How to Lunge - Variations, Modifications and Mistakes


Updated June 20, 2014

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Lunge Modifications and Alternatives to Avoid Knee Pain
How to Lunge - Variations, Modifications and Mistakes

Modification: Short Range of Motion

Photo © Paige Waehner
If regular lunges bother you no matter which ones you do, below are a few modifications to try before you give up on them completely. Keep in mind that even modifications may not work for everyone. If you feel pain, skip the exercise and substitute a different version or try one of the alternatives listed below.
  • Assisted Lunges - With this move you use no weight and hold onto a wall or chair for balance. This allows you to focus on your form without other distractions.
  • Smaller Range of Motion - In this move, you only lower down halfway, which may help you keep good form without putting pressure on the knees.
  • Elevated Front Foot - Placing the front foot on a step or small platform may be another modification to try if regular lunges make your knees ache.

Alternatives to Lunges

If lunges won't work for you, there are other exercises that will challenge and strengthen the lower body. Not all of these exercises will work for each person so, as with lunges, you should skip any exercises that cause pain.

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