Staying fit in a pandemic: Vol. 7

As the saying goes on social media – NEVER MISS A LEG DAY! That always gives me a chuckle. Yesterday someone shared with me a “LEG” workout from one of our most elite universities, and I thought to myself: someone gets paid to share nonsense like this. According to this workout, a leg day had a lot of words like Bulgarian and Romanian and it was super complicated with lots of set and rep variations . . . definitely exhausting and unclear what the purpose was except to make someone pretty tired.

My fallback when workouts like this are shared with me is what one of the greatest athletic development coaches in America – Jimmy Radcliffe – at the University of Oregon says – “its easy to make someone tired. It’s hard to make someone better.”

Here is my thought on Leg Day. Leg Day should be every day. But for the vast majority of athletes they don’t need a lift that starts with Bulgarian or Romanian. They need Lunges.

Fred Rosenfeld a Hall of Fame track and field coach first at Overbrook High School and then at Central High School in Philadelphia was the first person to tell me lunges should be part of my warm-ups. I was still running competitively myself in those days and as soon as I added 3 sets of 30 -50 meters of walking lunges to my warm-up, I felt better when I ran.

Then when I met Vern Gambetta 20 years ago, he suggested his Lunge and Reach Series. I especially like this because of the lunging in all three planes of motion. This lunge and reach series is great for ALL SPORTS. You do not have to use a med ball as Peter does in this video. But I find it helps athletes focus on the quality of their reaches. I also advise that you need to coach the quality of the movement here. Lunging can get a little sloppy unless athletes are focusing on bringing that back knee close to the ground.