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A great exercise for the lower posterior chain is the reverse lunge. When incorporating a knee hop into the movement, it becomes even better. Read on to learn what muscles reverse lunges with knee hops work, the benefits and mistakes associated with reverse lunges with knee hops, and the correct form to perform this exercise. Check out some ideas for your lower body workout and watch the video to learn how to properly perform the movement.

What Muscles Do Reverse Lunges with Knee Hops Work?

The following are the primary muscles involved in reverse lunges with knee hops (RLKH):

  • Gluteal Muscles (buttocks): These muscles are involved in the extension, abduction, and rotation of the hip joint. They also help keep the body erect and assist human locomotion (running, jumping, sprinting, etc.).
  • Hamstrings: Located on the posterior thigh in between the hip and the knee, and are composed of three muscle groups (semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris – long and short heads). These muscles are antagonists to the quadriceps and are involved in hip and knee movements. They participate in the deceleration of knee extension and help flex the knee and extend the hips. They are essential for daily movement (walking), speed (running), and deceleration (stopping movement).
  • Hip Flexors: Located on the front top part of the thigh in the pelvic area, consisting of 5 key muscles – iliacus, psoas, pectineus, rectus femoris, and sartorius. These muscles are involved in flexing the hip (bringing the knee toward the chest) and walking. They also keep the posterior pelvic muscles in balance.
  • Calves: These muscles run from the back of the knee to the heel. The calves consist of gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. They are involved in flexing the foot at the ankle joint and the leg at the knee joint, helping run, walk, and jump.
  • Core Muscles: These include the abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis -referred to as the six-pack, transverse abdominal, the external and internal obliques, and pyramidalis), as well as the pelvic floor muscles, erector spinae, multifidus, and lumbar muscles. In conjunction, these core muscles keep your spine straight so you have proper form while performing push-ups.

The following are secondary muscles involved in the movement:

  • Quadriceps or Quads: This large muscle group is located on the front of the thigh, the front & sides of the femur. It’s composed of four muscles (rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius). The origin of the name, quad, means four – hence quadricep (four-headed muscle). The quadriceps are knee extensors and hip flexors – essential for walking, running, jumping, and squatting. They, also, help to stabilize the patella and knee joint.
  • Adductor Muscles: These are a group of five muscles located in the medial compartment of the thigh (adductor longus, adductor brevis, adductor magnus, gracilis, and pectineus). They extend from the anteroinferior external surface of the bony pelvis to the shaft of the femur and proximal tibia. The adductor muscles’ function is to produce adduction of the thigh at the hip joint, in which the thigh is pulled toward or past the median plane. Additionally, they contribute to the flexion of the extended thigh, as well as the extension of the flexed thigh. Furthermore, adductors contribute to the stabilization and balance of the pelvis and body posture while standing, walking, or running. 

Benefits of Reverse Lunges with Knee Hop

RLKHs have numerous benefits:

  • Aesthetics: Reverse lunges with knee hops (RLKH) nicely sculpt your glutes, hamstrings, and legs overall.
  • Power Movement: This plyometric exercise helps you run faster and jump higher as it trains your muscles for an explosive movement.
  • Faster Metabolism & Fat Loss: These lunges engage numerous muscles allowing you to burn more fat.
  • Stability: Single-leg exercises as these ones help address asymmetry in the body and cultivate balance and coordination.
  • Mobility and Flexibility: The wide range of motion utilized in RLKH helps increase mobility since stretches your hip flexors.
  • Cardiovascular Health: Reverse lunges with knee hops keep your heart rate up, making them a great cardio movement to be added to your routine.
  • Improved Running: RLKHs are great for runners as they increase leg power and range of motion. They help them run more efficiently and be less prone to injury.
  • Performance: Even if you do not run, reverse lunges with knee hops can improve your performance at the gym, as they develop strength and power.
  • Versatility: RLKHs are highly versatile and can be performed anywhere and anytime without the need for any equipment.
  • Imbalance Correction: Reverse lunges involve a unilateral movement, helping you to correct imbalances and weaknesses in your lower body. Many of these are created due to movement limitations or overcompensations developed on one side of the body.
  • Hypertrophy, Strength, and Endurance: By changing the number of sets, repetitions, and loading, you can provoke physiological changes in mass and stamina. Doing 3-6 sets of 4-6 reps with moderate to heavy weight, you can increase your strength. Doing 3-5 sets of 12-20 reps with low to moderate weight, you work on your endurance. Lastly, doing 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps with moderate weight can induce muscle growth.

How to Do Reverse Lunges with Knee Hops

Now that you know all the benefits associated with reverse lunges with knee hops, you are ready to incorporate them into your routine. This is how to perform them:

  • Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Stand tall with your shoulders back, your chest lifted, and your core tight, avoiding any forward or backward lean.
  • Place your hands on your hips or flexed – in a jogging position.
  • Step back about one and a half times your normal stride length, landing on the ball of that foot.
  • Lower that back leg as much as possible, creating a 90-degree angle in the front leg.
  • Push through the heel and midfoot of the front leg and bring the back leg forward.
  • As you are bringing the back leg to the starting position, swing your knee toward the chest hopping on your front foot.
  • Return to the standing position with feet side to side shoulder-width apart.
  • You can repeat the movement on the same leg or alternate legs.

* If you want to make the exercise more challenging, you can put ankle weights and/or hold a pair of dumbbells.

Mistakes Associated with Reverse Lunges with Knee Hops

  • Rushing into the exercise without preparing: You should prepare yourself by aligning your body and establishing your stride length – the place where you are going to step forward. This allows you to safely proceed without injuring yourself.
  • Not maintaining proper form: You should maintain proper form by keeping your front leg on a 90-degree angle, knee in line with your toes, core tight, shoulders back -not forward, and back straight – not rounded.
  • Not paying attention to your stride: If you step too close, you are not really engaging your muscles as you should. If you step too far backward, you can have a hard time getting back up effectively due to not having the strength or flexibility to do so.
  • Externally rotating your front knee: Since this exercise challenges your balance, sometimes people naturally rotate the back knee outwards in order to stabilize themselves.
  • Internally rotating your front knee: This position destabilizes you and can lead to pain and injury. Make sure your knee is aligned with your toes and is pointed to the floor at the bottom part of the exercise.
  • Slamming your knees onto the ground: As you move backward and down, your back knee can touch the floor (if you are flexible enough to do so). Yet, you must do so lightly. Otherwise, you can hurt yourself. Slamming onto the ground can be because you lack unilateral strength, stability, and control over your movements.
  • Having your feet too close together or too far apart: Keeping your feet too close together can throw you off balance. Plus, it overstimulates the knees rather than stimulating the targeted muscles – the glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, and quads, which is where it should be. On the other hand, keeping your feet too far apart can overemphasize the abductors and compromise flexibility.
  • Shooting the hips forward as you come up. Your hip should remain aligned with your torso with a slightly forward lean. Your hips shouldn’t initiate the concentric part of the movement.

Reverse Lunges with Knee Hops Video

Reverse Lunge with Knee Hop

Lower Body Workout

You can complete your lower body workout by performing the following exercises:

As you can see the reverse lunge with knee hop is an exceptional exercise. It offers tremendous benefits associated with power, balance, performance, and aesthetics. Now that you know how to properly perform reverse lunges with a knee hop, you can avoid the most common mistakes associated with them and enjoy their benefits.

Whether you want to lose weight, tone your body, gain muscle, or get stronger, all muscles must be trained.

Lift, Burn more Fat, Get Stronger, and Live Healthier!

To a Fitter Healthier You,

Adriana Albritton

The Fitness Wellness Mentor

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