Our bodies need to be able to move in every direction, yet our workouts rarely include movements in every direction. In a traditional lunge, we lunge forward and backward only. Occasionally, we might throw in a side lunge. However, we really should be lunging in every direction, so our bodies can move in every direction throughout our daily life without getting injured. The goal of working out is to make our bodies more mobile and stronger so we can live a healthier pain free life.
Enter the lunge matrix! By having your body move in every direction, the lunge matrix strengthens your legs and your glutes in each pane. These movements assist in making your body functional strong to prevent injury. The lunge matrix is a series of lunges in different directions. Perform 5–10 lunges on each leg, for 10–20 total-controlled reps of each type of lunge. You may alternate your lunges from left to right or do all your lunges on one leg then switch to the other leg. Make sure you are able to lunge out and return to your starting position in a stable way.
Do one set of reps of each of the following lunges in the matrix:
Forward Lunge with Overhead Reach: Lunge forward and reach overhead as your foot hits the ground. Keep your front knee aligned over your foot.
Same-Side Lateral Lunge: Lunge directly sideways while keeping both feet forward. Keep the knee stacked over the foot of the lunging leg. Reach your hands high overhead.
Opposite-Side Lateral Lunge: This is a crossover lunge. Lunge by stepping across and slightly in front of your other leg. You won’t be able to go very far, and that’s fine.
Same-Side Rotational Lunge: Lunge while rotating and aiming your foot the direction you’re moving. Keep your foot planted. Depending on your mobility, you may be rotating 90 degrees from your start position or further.
Reverse Lunge with Rotation: Take a long lunge step behind you. You’ll arrive in a similar position as the forward lunge. Drive your elbows and torso to the non-lunging side as your foot hits the ground. This should result in your trunk rotating toward the front leg. Keep your eyes and head facing forward.
Level Up this Exercise: You can experiment with the direction of your lunge and where you reach your hands to level up the lunge matrix. You can also change up the speed of the lunge. Adding weights to the lunges turns it into a great gym workout!