One very important reason for exercising is to improve the way we feel and move every day. We want to be able to play with our children, carry the groceries, and do our gardening without pain or discomfort. Think of how many times you squat throughout your day or walk up the stairs.
Squats and lunges are functional movements that show up in our daily lives, and can be painful if you have sustained injuries, trauma or overuse issues in your knees.
The good news: With some practice, you can decrease pain and gain strength by executing proper technique while decreasing your range of motion when you squat and lunge. As you get stronger and become more comfortable with these exercises, you’ll be able to increase your range of motion gradually and perform the moves without assistance.
Try these variations and modifications for squats and lunges to help decrease discomfort or pain:
Key Pointers: Make sure your knees don’t extend beyond your toes. Keep your weight in your heels, maintain neutral spine, keep your chest open and flex at your hips.
1. Shallow Squat
2. Wall Squat
3. TRX Squat
Key Pointers: Your legs should be staggered in parallel, and pelvis and spine should be neutral. Extend one leg back slowly and make sure your knees don’t extend beyond your toes.
1. Rocking Lunge
2. Static Lunge with Yoga Block
3. TRX Lunge