Perform 3 sets of 6 repetitions on each leg per day. Once you are able to perform all of the repetitions without resting, progress to the next exercise.
This exercise will help to stretch the hip flexors and thighs while strengthening the buttocks, legs, and core. It also challenges balance and coordination. All of this can be useful for improving strength, mobility, and pain throughout the lower limbs and back.
Start by standing with the feet hip-width apart. Take a large step backward with one foot. Tuck the tailbone between your legs to feel a stretch in the front of the hip on the back leg. If you have trouble tucking the tailbone under, practice the Standing Pelvic Tilt exercise in this prescription.
Lower yourself straight down toward the ground. Keep the knee of the front leg from going forward over the toes. Keep the weight on the heel of the front leg, your trunk tall, and your tailbone tucked under. Keep the front knee pointing directly in line with the second toe of the front foot, so that it does not drop inwards. Keep the back knee pointing directly at the ground, instead of flaring out to the side.
Once the back knee has almost touched the ground, push yourself back up to the top position by pushing the heel of the front foot directly into the ground. Be sure to tighten your abs at the bottom of the movement by performing the Drawing In exercise from this prescription.
Repeat the prescribed amount of prescriptions on one leg and then change to the other.
• Bending the front knee too much. This exercise is most effective when you use the glutes to control the movement. If the front knee is too bent, the thigh muscles will take over, and the glutes will not activate as much. Keep the front knee from bending too much by making sure it doesn’t travel forward over the toes, and keeping your weight on your heel.
• Arching the lower back excessively. This exercise is designed to challenge the core and stretch the hip flexors. If the lower back arches too much, the lower back muscles will take over for the core, and shorten the hip flexors. Try to keep the hips and ribs in line as you lunge by activating your abdominals with the Drawing In exercise.
• Not keeping the feet and knees in line. The body often tries to compensate for weak glutes by pointing the foot outwards, and the knee inwards. To challenge the glute, try to keep the second toe pointing directly ahead, and the knee in line with the second toe.
You should be able to perform 3 sets of 6 repetitions on each leg without resting between sets before progressing.