Block Lunges: Release the Quadriceps and Lengthen the Hamstrings

What are Block Lunges?

Block lunges are a type of leg workout. They involve jumping up and down while keeping your legs straight. You then bend forward at the knees, lowering yourself back down until you reach the ground again. These types of workouts have been used for years in various forms of fitness training programs. However, they were not commonly known or practiced by most people before the Internet became popular in the 1990’s.

How Do Block Lunges Work?

The main muscle group involved in block lunging is the quadriceps. The quadriceps are three large muscles located just behind your knee joint. The quadriceps contract when you push off with your legs and extend backward when you land on the floor. When these two muscles work together, it creates a powerful stretch in all of the other major muscle groups in your body. The quadriceps work together with the glutes (butt muscles) and hamstrings (hamstring muscles). Together, these four muscle groups form the core of your lower body.

Why Should I Do Block Lunges?

There are many reasons why you might want to do block lunges. One reason could be because you feel like doing them! Another reason may be that they increase your flexibility and strength in those same areas. A third reason may be because you want to challenge yourself physically and see how far you can push yourself. And a fourth reason might be that you want to do a little bit of everything: increase your strength and flexibility, try something new, and challenge yourself all at the same time. Block lunges allow you to work on all of these areas.

How Do I Do Block Lunges?

Block lunging is actually very easy to do. Here’s how you do it. You will need a friend to hold your feet in place while you lunge up and down, but other than that all you need is a smooth floor to do your exercises on. Here’s what to do:

-Grab a block of wood about the size of a textbook. This will be your prop for holding your feet in place when you start doing your block lunges.

-Stand with your feet hip width apart.

-Make sure your knees are slightly bent. This is important because it allows for smoother movement when you lunge.

-Hold the block of wood just below your feet. You don’t want it to be too loose or too tight; just right.

-Move your arms so that you are holding the block of wood in front of you at chin level. In other words, move the wood from directly behind your feet to directly in front of your knees.

-Move your body so that you are directly above your legs. This will be your starting position.

-Start jumping up and down. While doing this you should be bending at the knees and lowering yourself back down until you are almost touching the floor. Make sure to keep your feet together as you do this.

-Think of moving your body up and down, rather than forward and backward. Every time you jump up, try to bend your knees even more. Every time you land, try to bring your knees closer to the floor.

-Try to do this for about three minutes.

What Next?

Once you can do three minutes of block lunges with no problems, it’s time to move on to the next level. To do this you will need to purchase a mini-step platform, which can be found at most sporting goods stores. You can also do this with no equipment if you find a ledge that is the right height for you. Set the step platform so that it is about 4-6 inches off the floor. Heel put your feet on the step, and then do your block lunges as usual. Once you are comfortable with this, you can raise the step so that you are doing most of your block lunges with your knee above your hip.

Tips

Block Lunges: Release the Quadriceps and Lengthen the Hamstrings - at GYMFITWORKOUT

-Remember to keep your knees slightly bent at all times. Also, make sure that you land softly when you lunge down toward the floor. Both of these things are important for keeping your body balanced and stable.

-Don’t look at your feet. Keep your eyes looking straight ahead of you, or even a little bit higher. This will help keep your balance centered and stable.

-Make sure that you are landing softly with every lunge. Heaviness in your feet will not only make you more prone to falling, but it is bad for your knees as well.

-Don’t lunge too far forward. You want to lunge far enough that your knee is slightly bent when you are at the bottom of the movement. If you lunge too far, your knee will be straight and put unnecessary strain on it.

-Try to do this three times a week. However, no need to do it every day. Also, don’t overdo it your first few times out. Your knees need to build up strength in order to handle this exercise. Start off slow, build up endurance as you get stronger, and you’ll be fine.

If you need more information on exercises for your knees, or just want to learn more about any of the exercises listed here, visit the following link:

Knee Health: Introduction

Weight Lifting Exercises

Over the past few years, health and fitness professionals have discovered the importance of weight lifting for overall health and well-being. They’ve also discovered that many people are intimidated by weight room and don’t know how to use the equipment inside. This has led to a whole new type of fitness studio called a “boot camp”. These studios tend to focus on a wide variety of exercises designed to give people a full body workout in relatively short amount of time. One of these exercises is called a burpee and it’s designed to improve strength and mobility.

What is a Burpee?

A burpee is an increasingly popular exercise that was once reserved for the military. It works out your whole body, but it is especially good for your core. It also helps to improve blood flow and circulation throughout the body. To do a burpee you begin in a standing position. First bend at your knees and lower yourself into a squatting position. Then reach forward until your hands are on the ground. Push your feet back and jump up, raising your arms above your head as you do so. That’s one rep.

Tips

-You can make the burpee easier or harder depending on your fitness level. If you’re new to this exercise, you can bend your knees as you lower your body into the squat position and straighten them as you jump into the air. If you’re more experienced, you can keep your legs straight while performing the exercise.

Block Lunges: Release the Quadriceps and Lengthen the Hamstrings - gym fit workout

-You can also make the burpee easier or harder depending on the distance you jump up when you raise your arms above your head. Try jumping up as far as you can so that your hands are just above the ground on each side. For an added challenge, try jumping up high enough that you can roll your body onto your shoulders in midair. This will make the burpee much tougher to do.

If you need more information on this exercise, visit the following link:

The Burpee Exercise

Swimming is a great cardiovascular workout that’s easy on the joints and requires no equipment what so ever. If you visit your nearest pool you can expect to burn close to 500 calories in a one hour period. Swimming is also an excellent way to strengthen your arm and leg muscles. In addition, the whole family can participate in this fun activity.

Tips

-For an even greater workout, push yourself to swim faster in each lap. This will improve your endurance as well as strengthen your muscles.

If you need more information on swimming or just want to learn how to swim, visit the following link:

Swimming For Fitness

Block Lunges: Release the Quadriceps and Lengthen the Hamstrings - gym fit workout

Having a strong and flexible body is just as important for wrestlers as it is for runners. Flexibility allows you to get those crucial holds and moves that can make the difference between winning and losing. In addition, flexibility helps prevent muscle strains and fatigue which can keep you out of action for days at a time.

There are a few different types of stretches you can do. The first one is called a dynamic stretch. This type of stretching involves moving your body part slowly through its full range of motion, but not to the point of pain. This type of stretching should be done prior to a workout in order to prepare your muscles for activity.

Another type of stretching is called a passive stretch. This type of stretching is done by a partner who will help extend your muscles past their normal range of motion. This can be painful, but should not cause you pain at any other time. This method should be used after an activity when you muscles are already warm. This will help the muscles to cool down and prevent muscle soreness.

The final type of stretching is called a PNF stretch, or proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. This involves a series of stretches done in a specific order and repeated several times in order to achieve maximum flexibility. This type of stretch should never produce pain and can be used in conjunction with the passive and dynamic stretches.

Tips

-Try holding each stretch for at least 30 seconds, but not more than 2 minutes.

-If a particular muscle group is tight, then focus more of your attention on that area when you’re stretching.

-You can stretch at any time, just make sure you warm up first if you’re about to engage in a specific activity.

-Be careful not to overstretch as this can lead to injury. Stop if you feel any pain and seek medical advice before continuing.

If you need more information on stretching, visit the following links:

Dynamic Stretching

Block Lunges: Release the Quadriceps and Lengthen the Hamstrings - Picture

Passive Stretching

PNF Stretching

If you have any questions about this session, please post them in the forum.

Sources & references used in this article:

Muscle and intensity based hamstring exercise classification in elite female track and field athletes: implications for exercise selection during rehabilitation by P Tsaklis, N Malliaropoulos, J Mendiguchia… – Open access journal …, 2015 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Nonuniform changes in MRI measurements of the thigh muscles after two hamstring strengthening exercises by J Mendiguchia, MA Garrues, JB Cronin… – The Journal of …, 2013 – cdn.journals.lww.com

Effect of increased quadriceps tensile stiffness on peak anterior cruciate ligament strain during a simulated pivot landing by DB Lipps, YK Oh, JA Ashton‐Miller… – Journal of Orthopaedic …, 2014 – Wiley Online Library

The use of MRI to evaluate posterior thigh muscle activity and damage during Nordic hamstring exercise by J Mendiguchia, AL Arcos, MA Garrues… – The Journal of …, 2013 – journals.lww.com

… into three days. Session A: chest, shoulders, triceps, back width, back thickness Session B: biceps, forearms, calves, hamstrings, quads Monday A Tuesday … by A Friday – rptsllc.wordpress.com