Biomechanical Attributes of Lunging Activities for Older Adults

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Abstract.Flanagan, S.P., M-Y Wang, G.A. Greendale, S.P. Azen, and G.J. Salem. Biomechanical attributes of lunging activities for older adults. J. Strength Cond. Res. 18(3):599–605. 2004.—The purpose of this study was to characterize the mechanical demands of the lower-extremity musculature during the standing forward lunge (FL) and the standing lateral lunge (LL) exercises performed by older adults. Twenty healthy older adults (9 men, 11 women, mean age 75.0 ± 4.4 years) performed FL and LL while instrumented for biomechanical analysis. Lower-extremity net joint moments, powers, impulse, and mechanical energy expenditure were determined using standard inverse dynamics techniques. The FL preferentially targeted the hip extensors, producing a greater flexion angle (12.8%), peak joint moment (13.6%), joint power (56.5%), and mechanical energy expenditure (25.1%). Conversely, LL targeted the ankle plantar flexors, producing greater dorsiflexion angles (19.3%), joint moments (40.9%), impulse (87.0%), and mechanical energy expenditure (61.1%). Kinetic differences at the knee were less consistent. Fitness professionals may use this information to better match the biomechanical attributes of FL and LL activities with the needs of the trainee.

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