The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Lunges and Beans

To get a better lunge stretch and stop pressure on the medial knee (the side facing the other leg), don't turn your back leg outward (left photo). Turn your back foot parallel, and face forward (right photo)

The previous post Hip Stretch While You Strengthen Legs shows a key move to position the hip to get a great stretch on the front of the hip and feel a better strengthener for the legs as you lower and rise in standing lunges.

One of my students, Lily, demonstrates good hip and leg position for the lunge (second photo at right). Instead of tilting the hip forward in front and out in back, you tuck the bottom of the hip to maintain it vertical from the top of the leg (hip joint) to the middle of the waist. Note the stripe of the side of the pants compared to the vertical line in the wall behind her.

On occasion, Lily makes me a wonderful bean dish and brings it to class in a glass container. The glass is a thoughtful healthy touch to avoid whatever may leach out of plastics into food. My students and I try to do this with food and drinks carried to work and class. Here is her recipe. Just throw it all in a bowl:

Lily's Wonderful Beans

Cup or two of cooked black beans
Cup or two of corn
1 jalapeño pepper, diced
1 red onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons cumin powder
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
sprinkle of olive oil, just enough to blend ingredients
squeeze 1 fresh lime over the top

Some people with celiac omit the corn. Celiac causes various discomforts after eating wheat and related products.

Good bending gives free exercise and stops a major cause of several chronic pain syndromes (muscle strain, disc degeneration, disc herniation, and sciatica) at the same time. Click the labels under this post for related posts. If you use the lunge and squat around the house for all the things you need to bend for instead of bad bending, you will stop a major source of back pain back, and get hundreds of free leg exercises a day. Enjoy healthy eating and healthy lunging.

Photo 1 by ryanwh
Photo 2 of Lily from the book Fix Your Own Pain Without Drugs or Surgery
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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.