RiverTribe’s athletics coach and fitness expert Simon Duberley shows us how to build a key exercise into a day of extensive international travel.
On my most recent business trip I travelled to South Korea. I took two long flights and a four-hour train journey before arriving at my hotel. On days like this it’s tempting to simply sit down and be inactive – perfect if you want to lose muscle mass and increase your waistline, but not so great in your quest for being ‘Fit for Business’.
What we actually need in this situation is an exercise that can hit a whole host of muscle groups, with no need for complex gym equipment. Lunges are an anywhere, anytime movement and have recently become one of my favoured leg exercises – the ideal addition to your regular workout routine, since they can be done anywhere.
But lunges aren’t just great for giving shape to your quadriceps, hamstrings and calves, they also work your glutes, and done correctly, engage your core by stabilising the movement. To top it all, lunges can also improve the mobility of your hip flexors. Bring all this together and you’ve got one hell of a functional exercise. Great for someone whose spare time is precious but wants to look and feel great.
Lunges can also easily be made to be more challenging by upping the intensity by increasing the number of repetitions, widening the stance, using an inclined surface or including some simple weights. So let’s look at how to master the lunge:
- Stand upright with feet hip-width apart; engage your core;
- Step forward with your right leg and start to shift weight forward so that the foot lands on the floor in a heel to toe fashion;
- Lower your body until the right thigh is parallel to the floor and the right shin is vertical (it’s fine if the knee shifts forward a little as long as it doesn’t go past the right toe); tapping the left knee lightly on the ground while keeping weight on the right heel is a good way of regulating the depth;
- Press into your right heel to drive back up to a starting position; and
- Repeat on the other side.
Throughout the exercise you can place your hands on your hips to assist balance. You should also try to keep your torso upright so that your back is protected.