We use it alot the lunge in squash but it is an exercise that can be varied to suit different phases of training and different dynamics during play.
The image above shows an extreme version of the lunge and demonstrates the importance of stength, stability and flexibility in the thighs and hips of the lower body whilst stiking the ball with the upper body.
We use the lunge in varying degrees when training but there are a few variations that will benefit us in slightly different ways. By varying the exercise we can get a little more out of the movement and bring into play these elements so that we can use them directly in match play.
1. Alternating Jump Lunge
This is an exercise used to increase power output and improve your ability to move into and out of the shot dynamically. It recruits the larger type 2 muscle fibres that are responsible for producing force quickly.
Perform reps of 20 with 2-4 sets adding weight if required.
2. Alternating Lunge with twist.
This variation works the gluteus maximus, quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles as in the basic forward lunge, the real benefits are seen in the utilisation of additional core and trunk rotator muscles. The twisting action strengthens your obliques, latissimus dorsi and erector spinae.
The exercise will also give stability and balance in the phase where you should be stable just prior to striking the ball. But also allowing for a more stable rotation of the trunk when hitting through the ball.
Perform reps of 20 with 2-4 sets
Holding a medicine ball or dumbbell/kettlebell in your hands, elbows by your sides, take one large step forward into a lunge position.
Watch that your knee is at a 90 degree angle and the weight of your body is toward your front knee.
Hold the lunge position, contract your abs and rotate your torso to the same side as your front leg.
Your arms and medicine ball should turn with your torso until they are in line with your side.
Rotate back to the centre as you stand up and bring your arms back in front of you. Then repeat the action on the other leg.
Perform reps of 20 with 2-4 set.
3. Static Held Lunge
The static lunge gets its name because the feet remain static, or in the same position, throughout the exercise.You will also be holding this movement for 10 seconds at 90 degrees before swapping legs.
The benefit of this exercise is that it teaches you to recruit stabiliser muscles that you will hopefully be firing when you are down into the low position and also teaching you to be stable, still and strong before you strike the ball with out any additional movement.
Begin by standing in a split-stance with your right foot forward and your left foot back. Engage your abdominal muscles, straighten your back and look straight ahead.
Maintain this position as you bend your legs to lower your hips toward the floor drop to 90 degrees. Continue down until your left knee nears the floor then hold this position for 10 seconds without moving.
You will then press through your right heel to return to the starting position then repeat the exercise with your left leg forward holding for 10 seconds.
Perform Reps of 10 seconds each leg do 5 sets adding weight if required.