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Bodyweight Scaling the Airborne Lunge

LoneRider

Level 6 Valued Member
I've been thinking of late about bodyweight work (both the muscle endurance flavor and the more strength minded calisthenics as stated in Naked Warrior). As such I've been integrating basic calisthenics like pullups, pushups, single leg drills (lunges and to the airborne lunge) as specialized variety work in a 'grease the groove' fashion with my kettlebell work (and for a future Deadlift Dynamite Cycle I'm starting mid-September when the Army Reserve has me doing some things where the logistics give me routine barbell access).

My rationale for this stems from my earliest days of Wendler 5/3/1 and Greyskull LP over a decade ago, whereupon bodyweight calisthenics at volume with relatively easy intensity, help for GPP.

Incidentally remembering that greats of the iron game such as Eugene Sandow, Pyotr Kryloff, and Charles Atlas were capable of great feats of bodyweight strength reinforced this approach for me.

I'm curious about ways one can scale the Airborne Lunge (the single leg drill of choice for me, given its carryover for things like running/rucking, still critical for me, though I'm a staff desk jockey). I saw @ali made this progression/regression below and to me it passes the sniff test but I am curious about what other, wiser in the calisthenics arena, think.

Reverse lunge.
Reverse lunge but lift toes of rear leg from the floor to lunge up.
Resist all urges to use the rear leg as an assist.
Start taking leg back with engaged hamstrings to only touch knee to floor.

Note: I'm not kidding myself and starting my Airborne Lunge journey at step 1, Reverse Lunges for singles and doubles with good form.
 

Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
I've been thinking of late about bodyweight work (both the muscle endurance flavor and the more strength minded calisthenics as stated in Naked Warrior). As such I've been integrating basic calisthenics like pullups, pushups, single leg drills (lunges and to the airborne lunge) as specialized variety work in a 'grease the groove' fashion with my kettlebell work (and for a future Deadlift Dynamite Cycle I'm starting mid-September when the Army Reserve has me doing some things where the logistics give me routine barbell access).

My rationale for this stems from my earliest days of Wendler 5/3/1 and Greyskull LP over a decade ago, whereupon bodyweight calisthenics at volume with relatively easy intensity, help for GPP.

Incidentally remembering that greats of the iron game such as Eugene Sandow, Pyotr Kryloff, and Charles Atlas were capable of great feats of bodyweight strength reinforced this approach for me.

I'm curious about ways one can scale the Airborne Lunge (the single leg drill of choice for me, given its carryover for things like running/rucking, still critical for me, though I'm a staff desk jockey). I saw @ali made this progression/regression below and to me it passes the sniff test but I am curious about what other, wiser in the calisthenics arena, think.



Note: I'm not kidding myself and starting my Airborne Lunge journey at step 1, Reverse Lunges for singles and doubles with good form.
I'd probably practice an Airborne Lunge to an elevation as shown on the Naked Warrior dvd.
 

Karen Smith

Level 6 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Iron Maiden
You could also start with a kickstand squat and slowly unload the non-working foot then progress to airborne to a yoga block then to flow.
You can also break it apart into to moves.. work negatives and other days work from ground up.
Another key point is keeping your core tension in a hollow body.
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
+1 to using something elevated to touch the "airborne" leg to.

I also like @Karen Smith 's suggestion of maintaining hollow. This ought to prevent over-extension in the lumbar, which would keep you from using the glutes as well as possible for the move.

Something I have noticed with myself (that I am willing to bet is fairly common) is a noticeable difference between one leg and the other when it comes to airborne lunges. I believe this to be due to a lack of internal hip rotation and/or ankle dorsiflexion on one side.

An exercise I don't believe I saw mentioned that may remedy this and help progress towards the airborne lunge is the split squat. A rear-foot elevated split squat is very very close to the same movement as the airborne, as long as you perform it with the majority of your weight on the forward leg.

Start with front foot elevated if needed. Then try them on the floor, then begin raising the rear foot. Keep your weight centered over the foot of the working leg.
 

LoneRider

Level 6 Valued Member
I hear Airborne lunge, and I immediately get a#@ pain from missing a few points of contact due to the high winds
Feet and Knees together, Airborne.

@Karen Smith, thanks for the advice. I actually just tried doing a double with each leg for a reverse lunge with tight core tension and that was a world of difference.
 
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