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Health & Fitness, Diabetes

Move better and sidestep injury with the side lunge

When it comes to cardiovascular fitness, you may tend to focus on activities that move you forward, such as walking, kraken running and cycling.

Likewise, in weight training, most traditional exercises center on forward and backward motion, occurring in what’s known as the sagittal plane.

But there is another plane of movement that deserves your attention: the frontal plane, where movements go from side to side.

If the majority of your workouts take place in the sagittal plane, you risk creating muscular imbalances and leaving yourself susceptible to injury during lateral movements in everyday life. Incorporating frontal plane exercises, such as the side lunge, into your fitness routine can prepare your body to move better and be more durable in daily-life activities.

The side or lateral lunge is one of the best exercises for building lateral stability and mobility in the often neglected frontal plane. This exercise strengthens the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, adductors and core to help protect you against injuries such as groin pulls and hamstring tears. The side lunge also improves the mobility and stability of your hips, knees and ankles to avoid related strains and sprains.