Remember back to when I used the train track vs tightrope analogy for lunging and split squat movements? This analogy has been useful to so many people, and I’ve received a lot of positive feedback for that video/post.
Before you perform any lunging or split squat variation, adopt your preferred foot width. This foot width will usually be hip to shoulder width apart (or slightly more narrow, but not too much). I liken this foot positioning to train tracks. Maintain this foot width for the duration of the exercise.
During split squats or reverse lunges, many people make the mistake of placing the foot of the non-working leg so it’s directly behind the foot of the working leg. During forward or walking lunges, many people stride directly ahead of the foot of the non-working leg. I liken this foot positioning to a tightrope. If you have attempted to walk on a tightrope before, you will know just how wobbly and unstable this feels.
To be very clear, no, I am not talking about curtsy lunges. Personally, I am not a huge fan of this exercise for many people, but others find it to be a useful supplementary exercise.
Back to regular lunges and split squats. Some people I’ve coached (online, in-person, video assessment-only clients) have complained that the knee of their non-working leg hurt. Virtually all of these people were using a ‘’tightrope’’ base and had one foot placed so it was in a straight line behind the other foot. The second I corrected their form and had them adopt a wider ‘’train track’’ base (of course the preferred width varies from person to person), their knee pain went away just like that.
So knee pain or not, give this tip a try and see what happens. I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised.