Lunges, split squats, and other unilateral leg movements are tremendous tools for building a strong, functional, and balanced body. Yet they tend to take a backseat to the more popular lower body exercises like squats and deadlifts. Let’s explore some of the benefits of lunges, common faults, and some popular variations so you never miss a lunge day again!
Lunges are a fundamental human movement pattern and take many different forms. The movement is generally defined as a split legged stance with one foot planted in front of the body and the other extended behind the body. From this position the athlete can raise or lower their body while stepping forward to the lead leg or returning to the rear leg. Lunges require leg strength, core strength, balance, and coordination. They can be performed as a bodyweight movement, under an external load, or explosively as a plyometric exercise. There are really an incredible number of ways to perform this exercise. Depending on your goals there are many ways that training lunges can be beneficial.
If you are looking to improve balance and coordination you could train lunges with a loading pattern that increased the demand for midline stability. Lunges performed with a barbell overhead or a single dumbbell or kettlebell loading one side of the body will achieve this. Due to the stabilization and core strength required to complete a lunge variation of this sort there is a huge transfer and application to sports and life. Ensure that the load demands don’t force you into a compromised position and that you have the necessary mobility to handle the movement pattern (AKA ask coach if you’re not sure)!
To develop greater strength and enhance muscle growth select lunge variations that allow for greater external loading. A reverse lunge is a popular option for this as it allows the weight to remain in the lead leg ensuring proper form and engagement of the posterior chain. Reverse lunges can be performed with dumbbells held at waist level or a barbell in the back rack position to go hard and heavy. A good rule of thumb is to keep the majority of the load in the front leg as you perform the movement. Select a load that allows for a controlled descent to the floor allowing the knee to kiss, not crash into, the ground.
To prevent injuries, increase range of motion, and correct imbalances the Bulgarian split squat or Bulgarian lunge is an excellent choice. This exercise is performed by working one lead leg at a time with the rear foot elevated on a platform 4-6 inches higher than the lead working leg. This movement optimizes the hinge position of the hips and is greater for activating the gluteus muscles. A popular loading pattern for this lunge is with dumbbells held in suitcase fashion. Make sure to select the appropriate box height to elevate the rear leg to prevent the spine from hyperextending at the end range of motion. Take care to stabilize the lead leg and focus on balance to reap the benefits of this killer lunge variation.
If you want to learn more about the best training movements be sure to discuss your goals with one of our coaches!
WHAT IS IT?
The #800gChallenge was designed by OptimizeMe Nutrition. Eat 800 grams (g) of fruits and/or vegetables, by weight, per day.
No foods are eliminated, but only fruits and veggies count toward the 800g. Eat the fruits and veggies of your choice. Hit the macros you want.
Raw, cooked, canned, frozen; doesn’t matter! If you can weigh it as a standalone and unprocessed fruit or vegetable, you can count it. Yep, that’s it! Here’s a one-sheet with all the rules.
So why 800g? It’s associated with increased health and is a simplified way to hit those recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Read more here.
Jan 6 – Feb 2
You can register HERE
We will host a meeting at the gym to go over all the challenge rules and answer your questions. Be sure to be there!
- Our Meeting will be on JANUARY 1, 2020 at 1PM at CrossFit Momentum (Driveway on Catherine Street, Nyack, NY)
$35 -Payable CASH or you can charge to Square at Momentum.
Non Members can also join the challenge for $150 including VELOCITY classes 3x/week during the challenge.
We will be using Wodify Rise to log scores and leaderboard throughout the challenge. More info on scoring can be found here.
YOUR ULTIMATE HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
By: Natalie Anderson
Are you dating a CrossFitter on the nice list this year and need some inspiration to make his or her “Fitmas Wish List” come true? OR, are you the parent of someone who does CrossFit and have NO CLUE what to get your child this holiday season? No worries! We have you covered!
Here’s a list of items that are guaranteed to earn you some brownie points and make your loved one happy this Christmas AND hit some major PR’s in the upcoming year.
- Hoodie season is the best season; it’s cold outside and everybody needs new cozy sweats to get them though the winter. Check out your local CrossFit gym and snag a hoodie and some comfy joggers to keep your loved one warm on the way to and from the gym while repping their favorite box!
- Protein, Bro! The Chocolate Peanut Butter Ascent Protein is the top choice at CrossFit Momentum and likely across the nation! It is DELICIOUS! The average for-fun-fitnesser goes through one bag per month, which adds up over the course of a year! Post workout protein shakes are essential in building muscle and recovery and you will be thanked for all those winter gainz. Help them stock up by grabbing a few bags at your local gym.
- Massage Gift Voucher. We’ve heard it before: “OMG I am SOOO sore!” Help your loved one out by finding a local massage therapist that specializes in sports massages and give the gift of recovery and relaxation. Go the extra step and book a couples massage- it’s a win win gift.
- Rogue Fitness! This is your one stop shop for all the CrossFit gifts. A Rogue Fitness Gift Card is a great way to allow the freedom for your CrossFitter to get exactly what they want. Out with the old and in with the new! Wrist wraps, knee sleeves, tanks and gym bags oh my! Anything your loved one needs can be found at Rogue.
- Fitness Gift Bundle! The ultimate personalized gift under the tree would be an all-inclusive gift bundle with all THE MUST HAVES! Again, stop by your local CrossFit gym and either buy all the snacks and swag to make a bundle of your own OR some gyms may have bundles put together for you (like CrossFit Momentum). This will include clothing and accessories with the gym name on it plus some pre and post-workout snacks and treats. A personalized gift bundle is the perfect way to say I support your obsession with CrossFit and support you in all your fitness goals!
By Coach Natalie Anderson
The holiday season is upon us AND I know you are as excited as I am! For me, two things are guaranteed. One, adding Mariah Carey Christmas album to my Spotify heavy rotation list. And secondly, the constant balancing act of being able to enjoy the season’s festivities with my fitness! Thanksgiving and Christmas mean two months of constant gatherings, treats and opportunities to indulge!
Here are my tips for you to survive the holidays so that you are kicking off the new year feeling both happy and healthy:
- Stick with your routine! You spent the entire summer working out, getting to the gym and getting fit! Do not let the holidays derail your fitness schedule! Create a group chat with your workout buddies and hold each other accountable for attendance! Just getting to the gym will automatically make you want to make better food choices and let’s be honest if you are going to be eating that slice of pie, hitting the gym the next day is a great way to put those carbs to use!
- Say no to leftovers! If you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year give away ALL of your leftovers, clean out your fridge and get back to your regular eating routine. If you are a guest this year say NO to leftovers. This will help keep the Thanksgiving madness to one day only and you’ll get back on track quickly.
- Find a Turkey Trot! If you aren’t home and don’t have access to your local gym, find a local 5K or if you’re near us, the Rockland Lake 5 miler! You can also do a Google Search and reach out to a local CrossFit gym to ask about the drop-in policy. IF you don’t have access to a gym and can’t do the turkey trot, text your coach and ask them for ideas on what you can do with no equipment. Did somebody say burpees?
- One serving, no seconds! It is possible to enjoy Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner without having that STUFFED feeling; serve one plate, eat slow and once you are done don’t go back for seconds. Be mindful of how full you feel and be present when you are eating. Same with dessert, pick your favorite option and enjoy it-or just skip the dessert table completely.
- Be KIND to yourself! During the holidays it’s easy to be hard on ourselves. Let’s avoid the guilty feelings and self-bashing. This season hold yourself accountable, but if you slip up or make a bad food decision IT IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. Be kind to yourself, and if you do make a decision that you aren’t proud of, the next day is a new opportunity to do it right. Sometimes a full belly and a full heart does the body good. Embrace it and move on!
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Now that the Open’s over and you didn’t make it to the CrossFit Games, what can we take away from the five weeks of blood, sweat, and (a few) tears? The silver lining to completing and suffering though all five workouts is that it becomes pretty obvious WHAT our fitness strengths and weaknesses are. What holes do we need to fill to be more well rounded and perform better next year?
If you found it hard to complete the million burpees in 20.1 or if 80 cals seemed like a marathon row, you probably need to work on your ENDURANCE. Endurance is the ability to exert and remain active for a long period of time. This can be an aerobic or anaerobic exercise. Here are some suggestions and tips you can incorporate to make burpees your bestie, or at least not your enemy.
- On recovery days, incorporate a low intensity long “workout”. Go for a hike, take a long walk, swim, play sports, bike or run. Start off with about a 30 min commitment and each week build on that time!
- Join a more cardio based class. You may find a different type of class at your CrossFit gym, that uses less or no barbells and focuses more on conditioning. This might be something like our Velocity class. Incorporating this class 1-3 times a week in addition to your normal routine, or in place of a more strength based class will help that endurance.
- Clean up your diet – nutrition is a huge factor in performance. We have all heard it before- you can’t out train a bad diet. So let’s clean it up! Eat REAL food. A wise man once said “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar”.
- Get to class early and work on your weakness – is it burpees? DU’s? Rowing? Running? Create a workout that allows you to TRAIN the movement. For example, 10 burpees On the Minute for 10 Minutes. Talk to your coach for a suggestion and be consistent.
- Take your recovery day as seriously as your workouts – recovery days are important. If you want to get better, stronger and more fit you need to work hard and recover harder. So on those days let’s make sure we are eating well, stretching and fixing any ‘nagging’ issues. Incorporating yoga either at a studio, using the ROMWOD app or just YouTube ‘recovery yoga’!