The most common complaint with the rear-foot raised lunge squat (other than being a brutal exercise that can leave you waddling the next day): feeling of tension or discomfort in the hip flexor or quad of the raised leg.
The discomfort can probably be caused by three potential issues, luckily all of them are easy to resolve.
Watch this quick video to fix your raised split squat on the back of the foot.
Possible problem 1) The bench seat or platform on which the rear foot rests is too high.
If you experience pain in your hip flexor or quadriceps, try using a bench or lower platform. If no bottom surface is available, elevate the front foot a few inches while standing on a weight plate or sturdy platform.
Possible problem 2) Your front foot is too far in front of the bench.
If the front foot is too far forward, this could be the reason why you are feeling tension in your hip flexor, as it is in a stretched position when you squat. Simply bring the front foot back a few inches until you no longer feel the discomfort. Focus on lowering the knee of the back right leg down, and not back. Take a look at the photo at the top of this article to get an idea of how you can aim your split squat to look in the low position.
There is nothing wrong or “dangerous” with the knee moving over the toes. Just make sure the front foot is flat on the ground - the toes and heel should not rise off the ground. Keep in mind that everyone has different limb lengths as well. If you have long femora, like me, your knee will likely travel further forward on the foot than someone with short femora.
Possible problem 3) You push the rear foot into the bench.
This one is quite common, and trainees often do it without realizing it - they lower the back foot and put it on the bench to help the front leg. Do not do that. Try to get the front leg to do all the work - rest the back foot slightly on the bench or platform.
What if rear-foot raised split squats caused knee pain?
This too can have a simple solution. First, make sure you distribute your weight evenly over the front foot. Do not roll on your toes or on your heel. No part of your foot should come off the floor as you perform the exercise.
Another possible problem that can cause knee pain is lowering too quickly. Descend more slowly, under control, for each rep. Take 2-3 solid seconds to descend, then slowly reverse the movement to stand up. Don't “bounce” from the bottom.
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Plyometric exercises, like box jumps and burpees, are a one-way ticket to feeling like an all-around badass because not only will they help you build strength, but explosiveness ( or power ), speed, and agility, too. Those last three perks don’t come from strength training alone, so it’s key to round out your fitness routine with jump training ( another name for plyo ).
All plyo movements require your groupes musculaires to stretch and contract at a rapid pace, which helps them become more explosive. So, unsurprisingly, they’re considered a intensity workout. The benefit of firing up your groupes de muscles this way, though : It spikes your heart rate ( oh hey, cardio ) and burns *all* the calories.
Before you jump into plyo training, you want to feel solid when it comes to stability, balance, and core strength. But aside from that, the beauty of it is that you can scale plyo to your fitness level and that it is totally beginner-friendly. Can’t jump up onto a three-foot-tall box ? Start small ! The most important thing is that your movements are quick; they don’t have to be BIG. As you feel more durable and powerful, amp it up !
I like to incorporate two or three plyometric exercises into the beginning of my workouts after my warm-up. Since they demand so much of your bod, you don’t want to go into them already fatigued from a bunch of other moves. Want your entire workout to have plyometric vibes ? You can do that, too. Just be ready to feel the burn in ways you’ve never felt it before.
Start standing facing a plyo box ( about two-feet away from it ). Rise up onto balls of feet and swing straight arms over head, then bend knees and push hips back into a hinge position and swing arms back behind body to gain momentum to explode up off floor and jump up onto the box. Land in a squat position, with knees bent, feet flat, and hands in front of chest. Then stand up straight and step back down to starting position. That’s one rep.
Start in a plank place, then jump feet forward outside of hands. Drop butt below knees, lift torso up, and raise hands to chest level. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep.
Start standing with feet under hips next to a plyo box, bent forward to place both hands flat on the top of it. Press through hands, brace core, and kick feet up and back towards glutes to hop body over to opposite side of box. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep.
Start standing with hands at sides. Hop up into the air. Upon landing, squat down, press hands into floor, and kick feet up into air higher than shoulder height. Let feet land directly under body, then hop back up. That’s one rep.
Start standing with feet under hips to the right of a plyo box. Rise up onto balls of feet and lift arms overhead, then with momentum, push hips back into a hinge place and swing arms back. Use this oomph to press through feet while swinging arms forward to explode up off floor. In mid-air, rotate entire body 90 degrees to the left and land in a slight squat position with hands in front of chest on top of the box, knees bent and feet flat. Stand up straight, then step back down to starting position. That’s one rep.
Start in a plank position with shoulders stacked over wrists and core engaged. Drive right knee toward chest, then return to plank and quickly repeat with the left. Keep alternating sides as quickly as possible. That’s one rep.
Start standing on right foot at far right end of mat or workout space with left leg bent, left foot lifted and crossed behind right leg, left arm bent and crossed in front of body, right arm behind back, and torso tilted slightly forward. Take a big hop to left switching arms and legs to mirror move on opposite side. Jump back to start. That’s one rep.
to start, stand with feet together and hands at sides. Then, lift arms out and overhead while jumping feet out past shoulders. Without pausing, quickly reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep.
Start standing with feet just outside of shoulders holding one dumbbell with both hands in front of body, arms extended straight toward floor. Lift right foot up off mat and behind body while bending at elbows to swing weight over left shoulder. Quickly hop from left foot to right while straightening arms and drawing dumbbell diagonally across chest toward right hip, torso and gaze follow weight. That’s one rep. ( Make sure to switch your starting foot for the second round. )
Get into a plank position, with shoulders stacked on top of wrists. Keeping core engaged, tap right shoulder with left hand while jumping both feet out wide to sides. Return to start, then repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep.