If You’re Not Using This Exercise, You Should # 5: Sliding Reverse Lunge

The goal of this series is to help coaches at the high school level and beyond expand their coaching “tool box” with practical movements, drills, and exercises – ones that aren’t just for show, but ones that can positively impact a training program.

Each week I will post an exercise along with a video demonstration, as well as a brief description.

Enjoy this week’s exercise!

Sliding Reverse Lunge

Intro: This week’s exercise centers around a variation (and progression) for the Reverse Lunge; the Sliding Reverse Lunge.

For the sake of semantics, let it be known that I wouldn’t normally precede the “Reverse Lunge” with “Sliding”, rather I would place the implement being used to slide in front of “Reverse Lunge”. In the case of this specific demonstration (above) it would be a “Towel Reverse Lunge”, but it can be performed as a “Slideboard Reverse Lunge”, or “Valslide Reverse Lunge” as well.

The Reverse Lunge, itself, is an effective unilateral exercise for lower-body strength. What separates the Reverse Lunge from the Forward Lunge, to a certain degree, is its emphasis on acceleration vs. deceleration, as it works the muscles used for acceleration during locomotion in a concentric muscle fashion, rather than eccentric (like the forward lunge).

Where the towel/slider enhances the Reverse Lunge is by emphasizing the muscle action of multiple muscle groups. After the slide leg (leg on the towel) moves back and the body descends into the Reverse Lunge, the support leg (not on the towel) will “pull” the body back to the start position under load, using the glute and hamstring to accelerate forward. The slide leg will need to simultaneously drive forward with the quad/hip flexors with the friction from the towel providing greater resistance than the full step of a traditional Reverse Lunge.

Goal: The goal of the Sliding Reverse Lunge is to work unilateral lower-body strength, just like any other lunging variation, but it also allows a greater emphasis on both powerful hip flexion and extension on either leg.

Implementation: The Reverse Lunge in its base form is one of the first variations of lunge that I use in my programming. In fact, the Split Squat is the base regression that I use during Block 0, followed by the Reverse Lunge as the first progression. The Sliding Reverse Lunge generally is not used until later in the program, when unilateral movement becomes more proficient.




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