jon-erik kawamoto personal trainer
Everyone knows how to do a basic lunge; these three variations take it to the next level.

For the most part, running takes place in what’s called the sagittal plane — think forward and back. However, there is a lot more going on than catches the eye.

A tremendous amount of stability and control has to be provided in the frontal plane — think side to side — when you run. Improving strength, stability and mobility (follow me here) in the frontal plane can reduce your risk for injury by loosening tight hip muscles (e.g. groin) and strengthening weak hip stabilizers (e.g. gluteus medius). This is where lunge variations play a major role in a runner’s strength training routine.

Why Lunge?

 
Asymmetrical standing exercises, like lunges, are great for challenging a runner’s balance, proprioception and dynamic flexibility. Lunge exercises change the load distribution and emphasize one leg rather than two (picture a bilateral stance used in a squat or a leg press).

Lastly, these exercise variations also challenge and improve dynamic stability in the torso and lower body. Therefore, these exercises may have more carryover to improving the running stride compared to bilateral leg exercises.

Getting More Out Of Your Lunges

 
Most people are familiar with traditional lunge variations, such as the in-line lunge, also referred to as a split squat, and the walking lunge, where a series of lunges are performed one right after the other. Many runners can benefit from these lunge variations, but there are other lunge patterns most are not familiar with.

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photo credit: Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet via photopin cc

I originally joined JKC because I was anxious about passing out and embarrassing myself since I hadn’t weight trained in a while and I’d hoped to find somewhere sympathetic. My husband @terry_hussey had been training at JKC and his success there made me miss the achievement you feel from a good workout. I went to meet Jon and immediately knew it was going to be a safe space for me. I was never judged for the fears I had and where I was starting from. Jon and Thomas made sure to check on me often, and found a way to challenge me but make me feel secure at the same time, and Terry and I were able to book sessions together, so working out became a shared win for us!

JKC is different from other gyms because of the personal growth you have outside JKC (the sessions inside JKC creates a great positive feedback loop!). You gain self confidence, learn how to show up for yourself, meet a community of newfound friends, and get the support of your trainers who are behind you 100%. I’ve left a scattered workout so proud of myself I’ve honestly shed a tear in the car on the drive home. JKC is the mental health relief valve I need to stay positive, and keep my anxiety and health related fears at bay.

The people and the training set JKC apart from other gyms or programs I’ve tried in the past. Truly Jon and Thomas meet you where are and help you get to where you want to be. There are no expectations and never any judgement. You can go there having the worst day and you always leave feeling better. Truly JKC has given me a level of strength and confidence I would not have had otherwise ❤️.

I’ve always struggled with both my weight and anxiety throughout my life. As a writer you live a pretty sedentary lifestyle filled with both realistic and unrealistic deadlines, so I needed something to get me off my butt and to get me moving. JK has been a godsend during this past year and a half in particular. The pandemic has been tough, but workouts with both Thomas and Jon have really helped reduce the stress and strain of a global pandemic, and added an anchor of normalcy back into my life — which has been worth its weight in gold.

JKC has created an incredibly inclusive environment that’s filled with all kinds of supportive folks from all kinds of different backgrounds. For folks like myself, being surrounded by people with such athletic ability can be intimidating in most gyms. It can actually be a deterrent, and it sometimes has been for me. But, at JKC it’s far from that — it’s inspirational. Everyone supports one another. Which is something that’s not easily found in this day and age, inside of a gym or out. Not to sound like a total cheeseball here, but it really feels like a family.

I am turning 67 next month and I started my journey with JKC in 2018. Seven years ago I experienced significant foot pain which had a negative impact on my day to day activities. I learned that issues in other parts of the body need to be addressed to achieve a positive result. My doctor (Dr. Jessica Wade) suggested, along with some other therapies, that I could  benefit from the conditioning JKC had to offer. I previously had not trained in any gym. I observed how many gyms operated and had a sense that JKC would be more my style: training in a small group setting, having such personal attention, and a program meeting my specific needs is fantastic! I love the atmosphere at the gym. Everyone is accepted and you feel supported and comfortable.

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