6. Front Foot Elevated Lunge
Why it works: “Front foot elevated lunges are a great way to improve knee stability through the direct recruitment of the vastus medialis, one of the four quadriceps muscles,” King says. This is the perfect exercise to prep you for the ski slopes. Skiing places heavy demands on the structure of your knee, and the less your knee deviates from its neutral position, the less likely you are to get injured, he explains. To make sure you’re recruiting the correct muscles, think about keeping your knees aligned over your toes, and make sure your front heel stays in contact with the floor.
How to do it: Place your right foot in front of you on an aerobics step or a 25kg Olympic lifting bumper plate. Keep this foot flat against the surface and stay on the ball of your left foot; this will bear your weight. With your abs tight and back straight, drive your front knee forward so it passes over your toes (which can require a certain amount of ankle mobility) and let your left knee lower naturally until it just about touches the floor. Drive back up through your right leg. This is important: The driving force behind this exercise is your front knee, not your rear knee, King stresses.
Note: Time under tension is vitally important for muscle growth. This front foot elevated lunge keeps your front leg under tension consistently through the “lift”. “Another way of maintaining tension throughout the lift is to have one leg placed on a step as the opposite arm holds a cable machine pulley,” King says. “The action of the cable pulling you toward it will work the concentric and eccentric phase of the exercise.”
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