Struggling with lunge part of the Get-up

Kong

Level 1 Valued Member
I’m starting my journey into the S&S program, I’m reading the book and trying to follow the instructions as prescribed in the initial part of “simple” but I really suck at lunges, I’m hoping with this community of people; that I can’t get some helpful tips and pointers on how to get proficient if not good at the lunge portion of the Get-up,

All advise will be appreciated

Kong
 

Bauer

Level 6 Valued Member
Hey @Kong: The lunge tends to be my most difficult part.

The solution is probably more tension. Make sure to really brace your midsection; tense your abs and glutes. Build tension between your front and back leg and wedge your self up. Make a fist with your free hand and try a counter movement with your free arm.

And make sure that your technique/alignment/mobiliy (hip flexors and t-spine) are not hindering you. The SF Hip Bridges help with hip flexors. Arm bars help with the t-spine. And TGUs actually help with it, too... So stay patient if mobility is a part of the problem.

And play a bit around with your stance. Maybe just practice this phase without weight, with a shoe and with a weight. I found it helpful to do a couple of semi-lunges (very little ROM) from a standing position to get a feel for a stable stance. A stance that is stable on the way down will also help you on the way up.

Also check this thread:
What's your most difficult phase in the TGU?

Try focusing specifically on bracing the abs/core as you start the stand-up from lunge. I got that from the StrongFirst podcast with Derek Toshner, and I agree, it works!
A couple of days back I have found something else that helps, inspired by this great @Pavel Macek article:
Press Stronger NOW with the Kettlebell Pull Press | StrongFirst

I now use my free arm for some kind of counter movement while lunging. I make a fist with the free hand (mentioned in the article) and standing up I push the free arm down. And going back down to the lunge position I raise my arm. I also make sure to brace my core and align my pelvic before going up or down.

This extra arm movement has made my lunging much more solid.

I think it makes a lot of sense because it mimics our gait pattern: Extending the right leg we swing the left arm back and flexing the right leg we will also bring our left arm forward. Walking is the trademark movement of the homo sapiens and as we know from Original Strength, building on the gait pattern is what makes us capable as movers and lifters.
Hope this helps. What are you struggling with in particular?
 
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Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Hi @Kong

I've had a couple of students that struggled with the lunge. Heavy bodyweight makes it a pretty difficult movement, actually. Or just not having done it in a while. But it can get stronger! And the tips @Bauer mentioned can help.

One student just did not have the leg strength to stand up from a lunge. I had her do 5 sets of 5 lunges 3x/week assisted with either a PVC pipe in her hands for leverage, or an upright post of a squat rack. Reduce assistance as much as possible as you get stronger.

Another student had the problem of needing to lean forward to stand, to the point where he couldn't hold the kettlebell upright. I had him focus on foot placement (a little closer together) and try to bring the body upright from the center of the feet by using both legs to stand, then step forward.

Getting stronger in this movement is one of the rewards of get-ups. You'll be glad you got it back, once you do. It's a very functional movement to "own".
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Another thing you might try is think of pulling the legs together as you start to stand. This can have the effect of making you tighter and stronger.
 

Kong

Level 1 Valued Member
Thank you both for your insight and helpful tips, I especially, the part mentioned by Anna with regards to Heavy Body weight, currently that would be one of my issues and I suspect along with lack of mobility is contributing to my issue. I will try both suggestions in tomorrows training. The focus of just that portion of the movement (practicing it) and doing a few sets of lunges to just get the basic movement somewhat down.
 

Buffalo

Level 6 Valued Member
I still struggle with the lung on the outside of my right knee. I have just skipped that part for the last few months. Just do as much as you can! I still see alot of improvement in my day to day movement without it.
But I hope to be past the pain during the lunge soon!!
 

Cédric

First Post
Hello everybody,

I also have some difficulties with a couple of student in this part of the TGU.
When they starting the lunge, the elbow goes in flexion so they can't stand up with the bell overhead.
Is it a problem of mobility, strength, or both ?
Any advice or suggestion will be very helpful.
Thanks a lot.
 

Buffalo

Level 6 Valued Member
I'm not a sfg. Can they lunge from kneeling to standing with the shoe on the fist while maintaining lockout? That really drilled the movement for me when I first started on keeping the elbow locked....
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Hello everybody,

I also have some difficulties with a couple of student in this part of the TGU.
When they starting the lunge, the elbow goes in flexion so they can't stand up with the bell overhead.
Is it a problem of mobility, strength, or both ?
Any advice or suggestion will be very helpful.
Thanks a lot.
Probably a combination. If the torso has to lean forward to stand for lack of strength, and the shoulder/t-spine doesn't have the mobility to compensate to keep the weight balanced overhead with a straight arm, then the elbow will give in an attempt to shift the weight to keep it overhead. Some suggestions: 1) do a bit of t-spine mobility before get-ups (I love Karen Smith's 3-way, here's a video I made for a student of that, and here's another one with some great t-spine mobility options), 2) have them bring the legs a bit closer together before standing, and deliberately tighten the abs just before standing, both of which make the stand-up effort stronger, and 3) have them practice the get-up unweighted, focusing on keeping the elbow locked. Even better would be with a shoe or something else balanced on the fist.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
A mistake I often see is stance width - make sure your feet are "on railroad tracks", about shoulder width apart, even when they're not next to each other. I tend to see one foot almost in front of the other, which makes you much less stable.

-S-
 
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