15 Workout Mistakes That Can Cause Damage

2. Lunges

Lunges are one of the most effective lower body exercises. The stronger the muscles are around your knees the better, and a lunge helps to strengthen these muscles. It can also help to improve your balance and build up your glutes and your quads. When all of these lower body muscles are weak, it causes dysfunction and pain.

Wrong: The main problem that occurs when doing a lunge is that you don’t keep your back straight and you go forward, instead of down. Your back must be straight with your shoulders back and your chest lifted. Another problem is that your feet aren’t in line with your hips and you don’t keep your knee behind your toes.

Right: To do a stationary lunge correctly, put your one foot in front of the other and drop your body straight down. Keep your back straight and your knee behind the toes. You shouldn’t be going forward but down. Look forward with your chest up as you go down, so you work the leg in a safe, functional way. You can do ten repetitions on one side and then put the other leg forward and do another ten on the other side.

When you’ve perfected your technique, you can try to change up your basic lunge by using different types of equipment. One variation is a back-loaded lunge where you can focus on a weight that challenges your legs, just as a loaded backpack would do in daily life. If you use a barbell, just remember to engage your back, not your neck and don’t round forward, or you may injure yourself. You can often handle more weight with a back load than a front-loaded weight.