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LTAD - a critique
Demands of the game
Profile of players
Functional screening
Resistance training
Speed and agility training
Integrated game conditioning

Screening the lunge pattern

Common controversies

The guideline for proper forward lunge execution includes a downward movement during the lunge (Kritz et al 2009). If the player does not improve through verbal cueing, then there is likely to be a mobility or a stability issue that limits the player from completing the movement pattern properly.

It is common to see a player complete the forward lunge with a forward movement of the body. In this circumstance there is likely to be less emphasis on hip mobility but a greater emphasis on the knee moving in a forward direction possibly beyond the toes. This forward movement of the knee has been shown to increase knee shear force (Alkjaer et al 2002). Kritz et al (2009) report that athletes with such a lunge pattern may report knee pain. But many other factors are also associated with this inability to maintain proper alignment without a forward knee movement and they include weak gluteal muscles, tight or underactive quadriceps and limited hip and ankle mobility (Alkjaer et al 2002, Crill et al 2004, Thijs et al 2007). Our recommendation is to observe the player as he or she lunges and to note whether he or she displays a forward motion with the knee moving beyond the toes.

In addition, we have noted that the gaze of the player should be forward throughout the lunge pattern. A downward gaze has been shown to increase trunk flexion, potentially placing excessive torque on the vertebral column (Schoenfeld, 2010).