Jumping right back into our Strength Side. So far, I’ve introduced the basic Squat and Push movements. Today I’ll be focusing on one movement that probably makes you cringe - the lunge. I completely understand. I’ve been there before. But I’ve had a change of heart ever since I experienced the benefits of this exercise - and the benefits are remarkable!
Not only do lunges strengthen your lower body (quads, glutes and hamstrings), but they:
build stability in your lower back as well as important joints like the hips, knees and ankles.
strengthen each leg individually (which can even out any imbalances).
improve your overall balance.
increase foot strength and ankle flexibility.
engage your core muscles for stability.
stretch your hip flexors, improving their flexibility and counteracting the shortening and tightening that occurs when sitting for long periods.
As you can see, that’s quite a few benefits! :)
Many people avoid doing lunges because they are mostly worried about hurting their knees or simply because they don’t like feeling wobbly and unsteady. Yes, wobbly lunges can certainly contribute to pain in your hips, knees or ankles. But that can be avoided with proper form.
So my tip for you is to modify as needed, focus on your form and move slow and steady.
Performing a Lunge
Stand with your feet about hip width apart.
Step forward with one foot - while keeping your chest proud and shoulders directly over your hips.
Bend both the knees and lower the body down until the back knee is a few inches above the ground (the front thigh should be parallel to the ground and the back knee should point toward the floor. Your weight should be evenly distributed between both legs).
Reverse the movement by pushing through the heel of your front foot and step back to the starting position.
Complete the desired number of repetitions, and then repeat on the opposite side.
i.Keep your hands in front of you or on your hips for balance.
ii. Keep your torso straight and core engaged to protect your lower back.
iii. Adjust the length of your stride as needed. I recommend shortening your stride for more stability.
iv. Avoid letting your front knee turn inward. Aim to keep it in line with your second toe throughout the lunge.
v. Widen your stance slightly if you feel unstable. You shouldn’t feel like you are balancing on a tightrope.
vi. Squeeze your glutes throughout the movement, particularly as you press through your front foot.
When it comes to exercising - lose the ‘All or Nothing’ mindset!
Many of you are resetting after vacation mode or even adjusting to new schedules now that the kids are back in school. Such changes can often disrupt our workout routine and it can take some effort to get your flow back. As much as it would be great to get a 30-60 minute workout in, we all know that life gets in the way. I would however urge you to at least get 10-15 minutes of movement a day. It does not have to be complicated. Keep it very simple. Just as an example, here is a quick little workout for you to try this week.
AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible)
Set your timer for 10 minutes and complete as many rounds of the following routine in the given time.
* Focus on your form! Do not rush through the move.
* Rest as needed.
* You can challenge yourself by increasing the time or number of repetitions.
Let me know how this goes. If you have questions or comments please email me 📩 .
🎯 Quote of the week
Life is like riding a bicycle.
To keep your balance, you must keep moving.
— Albert Einstein
🌿 Recipe - Buttermilk-Marinated Roast Chicken
I’ve always enjoyed a good roast chicken but my homemade attempts have been hit or miss. And while most store-bought rotisserie chickens are unarguably tasty, I find that many are prepared with too many preservatives for my liking.
Samin Nosrat, Bay Area chef and author of ‘Salt Fat Acid Heat’ changed this for me. You have to check out her fool-proof recipe! And the best part is that the recipe only calls for 3 ingredients! Yeah! All you have to do is marinate the whole chicken for 24 hours in buttermilk and salt and stick it in the oven. It’s that simple!
Both the buttermilk and salt tenderize the meat, giving you an unbelievably juicy chicken. The sugars in the buttermilk caramelize and provide a nice crispy skin. I’ll stop right there and let Samin walk you through the recipe. (4000+ 5 star reviews on New York Times Cooking!!).
If you try this out, I’d love to know what you think. Enjoy!!