Are you Fit to Run? - Lunge and Return

Strength, flexibility and balance help you run better and avoid injury. Take these six simple tests to assess yours



by Sam Murphy

 3 of 8 
hip lunges

Why is it important?

This exercise assesses your ability to transfer weight from one foot to the other, while maintaining correct posture, balance and control. "It's a prime illustrator of the fundamentals of running mechanics and efficiency, in particular the 'tall hips' component of the running action," says Giles. It also tests the strength and range of movement in hip flexion (of the lunging leg) and hip extension (of the standing leg). "In running, you need to be able to extend the hip to drive yourself forwards," adds Giles.

How to test it

Stand barefoot with your hands on hips. Lift one leg out in front, bending the knee until the foot is level with the opposite knee (keep the foot flexed). Keep your torso upright (not tipping sideways or leaning forward or back) and your support leg straight. Step forward with the lifted leg, land and bend both knees so that the front knee is aligned over the ankle and the back knee brushes the floor. Drive back through the front heel to return to standing position. Repeat on other side.

Score 1 point for each of the following:

  • You can lift your foot level with the opposite knee while keeping your waistband level 
  • You can lift your foot level with the opposite knee without your support leg flexing 
  • You can lift your foot level with the opposite knee without the shin of your trail leg turning in or out during the movement
  • You can maintain ankle, knee and hip alignment upon landing (no collapse of the knee)
  • You can land and return smoothly without losing your balance

Scored 3 or less?

The A-stance (the first part of the lunge, in which the lunging leg is lifted until the foot is level with the opposite knee) is in itself is a great exercise for strengthening the hips and improving your balance and stability. Mix static holds with shifting continually from one foot to the other, always maintaining good alignment. Also practise your double leg squat and single leg stance in the later slides.


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Are you Fit to Run? - Lateral Bridge
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Single Leg Stance

 
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Discuss this article

Not too sure.  Running involves a symbiotic relationship between the organic machine composed of muscles, tendons and ligaments and the ethereal consciouness that desires the sense of fluid motion that running provides. It is an artform that involves the flow of locomotor muscles whilst the agonist, antagonist and synergistic actions of stabilising muscles anonymously endevour to provide the platform for the driving momentum  On this basis it is logical that tests such as those detailed in  Kelvin Giles' Physical Competence Assessment Manual which test the integrety of the machine should provide a reliable and valid tool in assessing ones fitness to run. However, the greyness of this mortal coil invariably means that some disparity and divergence exists between the art of running and the mechanistic prediction of ability and capacity such that the various assessment tools whilst indicative they fail to be predictive. Therefore runners should always consume the fall out of such analysis with a liberal garnish that allows the contextualisation and interpretation of the tools prediction with common sense and reflection upon what those annoying and noxious signals emenating from those tingling sense organs heralding the coming of compression hosiery.
Posted: 29/06/2011 at 13:58

You should meet Ricky Bennison.
Posted: 29/06/2011 at 14:16

Just what i was going to say....
Posted: 29/06/2011 at 21:56

Ooh not meeting Ricky Bennison...the other bit.!! (who's ricky bennison
Posted: 29/06/2011 at 21:58

Mighty Lexi wrote (see)
Ooh not meeting Ricky Bennison...the other bit.!! (who's ricky bennison

Mighty Lexi wrote (see)
Ooh not meeting Ricky Bennison...the other bit.!! (who's ricky bennison

Hits head against wall...
Posted: 29/06/2011 at 22:04

. wrote (see)
Hits head against wall...


Are you sure it didn't strike the wall?

<ducks>


Posted: 29/06/2011 at 22:43

Man, you need to get out more!
Posted: 30/06/2011 at 08:39

But who the heck is Ricky Bennison?

Any clues is the person a lad or ladette??? I mean is the person a man or woman?

Karen, GOOGLE it!


Posted: 01/07/2011 at 19:27

is he the prisoner who run half marathon every day in his cell, then he won a gold medal at the olympics for the marathon.  when interviewed later he sad "i was very happy to run with people again" lol.
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 21:15

eden bassy wrote (see)
is he the prisoner who run half marathon every day in his cell, then he won a gold medal at the olympics for the marathon.  when interviewed later he sad "i was very happy to run with people again" lol.

 The mind boggles!
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 22:12

This is Ricky

Enjoy


Posted: 02/07/2011 at 22:16

Saffy sweety pea wrote (see)

This is Ricky

Enjoy

RW gold. 
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 22:40

Oh yes
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 22:42

For anyone wanting skim highlights, I don't appear till page 7. 
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 22:54

Ricky Bennison wrote (see)
It occurs to that the term striking in regard to a runners landing foot insinuates a deliberate attempt to apply force to the ground. As the ambition of the landing foot is to land with minimal impact on the ground surely the term striking is a misnomer with negative potentialy harmful connotations especialy in regard to people injuring themselves by hitting the ground overly hard with there foot .


LOL it must been a full moon.

Saffy sweety pea wrote (see)

This is Ricky

Enjoy


 Turns to page seven


Posted: 02/07/2011 at 23:24

Damn it the bat has returned I'm off.
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 23:40

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