Practical Tips: Do This, Not That! Common mistakes beginners make:
- Rounding the back: A common mistake in the Low Lunge is to round the back. Rounding the back places stress on the shoulders and upper back muscles, as well as sets the stage for misalignment of the head and neck. For proper form, keep the back straight with the spine elongated, the chest lifted, core engaged and back of the neck in line with the rest of the spine.
- Misalignment of the front knee: Placement of the front knee is important in Low Lunge. Beginners often find the front knee leaning to the right or left of the front ankle, creating tension and stress along the hip, thigh, knee and ankle of the front leg. If the front knee is too far forward over the front toes, you can strain the ligaments and tendons around the knee. If it’s too far back behind the heel, you limit the amount of stretch available. The best alignment is to have the front knee stacked directly over the front ankle.
- Twisting the hips: It is very common to find the pelvis twisting toward the back leg in Low Lunge. This is often a result of excessive tightness and/or weakness in the muscles of the hips and thighs. In order to get the most benefit from this pose, keep the hips centered so that each hip is directly beneath its respective shoulder, leaving no twist at the waist.
- Torquing the neck: Another common mistake beginners make in Low Lunge is to tilt the neck to lift the chin to the sky. This compresses the bones in the back of the neck causing muscle tension and possible nerve impingement. The correct form is to keep the back of the neck elongated and the chin parallel with the ground as you raise the crown (top) of your head toward the sky.
- Not engaging the arms: Engage your arms and raise them up to the extent that your mobility allows. Pull your shoulder blades toward each other, as if you were trying to hold a lacrosse ball between them.