Move of the Month: How to Do the Reverse Airborne Lunge

WITH SINGLE-LEG exercises, there’s nowhere to hide. Any strength, mobility, or balance shortfalls are on display. The reverse airborne lunge is no different. Even if you’re wobbly the first time you try it, stick with it. In time, it’ll be your favorite move. Like traditional lunges, it helps with quad, glute, and hamstring strength, as well as hip and knee stability and ankle mobility.

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“Why it’s different is there’s no assistance from the leg behind you,” says Nike trainer Ariel Foxie. Basically this is a reverse lunge, but instead of the back foot hitting the floor to stabilize on the descent, the back leg is elevated.

reverse airborne lungePhotograph by Christopher Malcolm

To do it, hold a 10-to 20-pound kettlebell at face height (it acts as a counterbalance). Stand on one foot, lift other leg behind you, shin parallel to floor. Shift hips back and slowly lower,until shin meets floor. Press through standing heel to reverse. Make sure to hit both sides equally.Having trouble? Decrease the range by lowering onto yoga blocks or a cardio step. You can also recruit assistance from a suspension trainer or resistance bands, adjusting the amount of reliance, until you fly solo.

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