Lunges...really necessary?

Did a set of lunges last night and felt my glutes (medius and maximus)more than when squatting or doing reverse leg press; they are also soar now. Even though they appeared to be more active when lunging I am wondering if lunges are really necessary. Apart fom possible greater actviation of gluteus maximus, one advantage may be far greater activation of the stabilizer gluteus medius although I am not convinced it is necessary to target this muscle in such a way ie. sprinting and plyos may be enough. Also one problem is fitting lunges into a whole programme with time and recovery in mind. What does everyone think of lunges?

They also can be very demanding on the knee joint stabilisation.

I did do them quite a bit before as I felt they help strengthen the upper end of the hamstring, and hip flexors - but had to drop then because of time constraints. I would follow them with dynamic sissor lunges (from a lunge position jump into the air switch legs and land again in a lunge position).

Another alternative is DB step-ups.

But I’m not sure as to there relevance to sprinting. Would they have more application or relevance to team sport and the eccentric phase in slowing down & changing driection etc.?

I think lunges are fantastic. Due to the emphasis which they place on the eccentic phase of the movement they will enduce DOMS the first few times you perform them, however for exactly the same reason they are extremely effective.
The eccentric “lunging” motion helps will place a high load on the connective tissue of the glutes, quads and upper hamstring, accellerating their development, which is usuful later on in the training year or life. The eccentric motion also helps improve muscle density in much the same was as EMS does.

Richard - Lunges are not a true limit exercise, and whilst they offer obvious benefits for situations such as knee rehab, I would generally stick to the squat. Remember any new exercise will induce soreness. Can you remember the first time you did squats?!

Remember any new exercise will induce soreness. Can you remember the first time you did squats?!

I was just about to post this exact same thing. :smiley:

This is why too much variation will kill a program unless the wave frequency is at a point that it catches each ND per microcycle…you only need to maintain with a few reps per week to prevent DOMS…this can be done submaximally during warm-ups and GPP.

What do you mean by too much variation? I was told to switch exercises every 3 weeks but I was going to every 6 weeks. Also what’s ND per microcycle. I wish you wouldn’t be so curt.

AT THE END OF MY SETS OF DRILLS I LIKE TO DO A SET OF WALKING LUNGES FOR 50 METERS. I FEEL THAT not only can it be used for general strength and balance but it stretches out my hip flexors nicely.

sorry about the caps guys.

David, what do you think of gluteus medius involvment in lunges though? Will it add to pelvic stability in sprinting?