The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Its no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
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    Lunges - mainly quads, hams, or glutes?

    I have looked over the net and found different answers for the primary muscle worked.

    I am talking about barbell lunges where you stand in the same place and step forward, at the lowest position your lower leg is upright, then standing back up to your original position.

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  3. #2
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    All are worked but emphasised differently depending on torso position and how far forward you place the front foot.

    If you short step then the emphasis shifts to the quads. A long lunge and the emphasis is on the hams and glutes.

    If you lean forward the emphasis is on the quad. If you maintain an upright torso, the glutes and hams are brought more into play.

  4. #3
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    db lunges are probably my fav leg movement. they are hard and effective

  5. #4
    Iplan Iplan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Roberts View Post
    All are worked but emphasised differently depending on torso position and how far forward you place the front foot.

    If you short step then the emphasis shifts to the quads. A long lunge and the emphasis is on the hams and glutes.

    If you lean forward the emphasis is on the quad. If you maintain an upright torso, the glutes and hams are brought more into play.
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  6. #5
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    Ok I might start leaning forward and taking a slightly shorter step to hit quads more. Will this still significantly hit the hams & glutes or will it become more of an isolation move?

  7. #6
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    Also, a forward lunge will be more quads, while a backward lunge will be more glute/hams.

  8. #7
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    What's the best way to progress with lunges; more weight, more steps, double progression?
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  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    What's the best way to progress with lunges; more weight, more steps, double progression?
    Just like anything else. I am going to start doing them again...they have a nice carry over to the bottom portion of the squat. Really nice actually.

    I prefer the walking variety...the standing in place variety can be awkward sometimes to not lose your balance as you try to stand back up. The walking kind is very natural and I find it keeps the stress off my joints. I use long strides to keep the pressure off my knee.

    I used to do them in reps of 6 each leg with really heavy DB's...I worked up to 100's. Sounds like a perfect rep scheme for hct-12...could do your walking set with 12 reps (6 each), rest, do 4 more, rest, do 4 more, etc. It also helps grip! Too bad the DB's in my gym end at 85's.
    Last edited by mchicia1; 12-07-2010 at 01:41 PM.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by greemah View Post
    Ok I might start leaning forward and taking a slightly shorter step to hit quads more. Will this still significantly hit the hams & glutes or will it become more of an isolation move?
    As you progress in weight, this may cause you knee discomfort.

    It hits everything in your leg...definitely not an isolation movement. I find I get better glute activation from these than doing actual squats.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    As you progress in weight, this may cause you knee discomfort.

    It hits everything in your leg...definitely not an isolation movement. I find I get better glute activation from these than doing actual squats.
    Yes these smash my glutes I find also which I like. I am going to be using these as my main quad exercise for a while - is there enough stimulation for quads doing a longer step? Obviously walking lunges would be better for quads but where I workout I can only do them in the one spot
    Last edited by greemah; 12-07-2010 at 03:57 PM.

  12. #11
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    Depends, the longer the step the less you can extend the knee at the top and because the job of the quads is to extend the knee the less the emphasis, not such an issue if you're walking them, but as you state you're static.
    Best you can do is find a stance that you feel them best andsee how you respond.

    Personally I find any of the lunge type movements blow up my quads (irrespective of stance) better than squat variations, but that could be because I'm tall and have long legs AND maybe because I am not able to fully extend the knee at the top there may be an occlusion effect i.e. constant tension on the quad contributing to that pump.
    Last edited by Daniel Roberts; 12-08-2010 at 02:52 AM. Reason: Just thought of something extra

  13. #12
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    Thanks I will give them a try for a while and see how well they work for me

  14. #13
    Father of Three Bosch232's Avatar
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    I vote this for Thread of the Month. Good question, good answers.
    "A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." ~ C.S. Lewis

  15. #14
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    I agree, excellent thread.
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