To Lunge or Not to Lunge

March 23, 2013Posted by Byron Kimmel


Coaches, runners, and trainers have embarked on an epic quest to find the perfect pre-run flex routine. In search of a new cutting edge method, Michigan based physical therapist and fitness guru, Gary Gray developed the lunge matrix.

Gray untilizes a system of lunges to devleop strength and flexibility while prepping runners before any run. LM has been popularized for runners by Colorado's Jay Johnson. As a coach that has been searching for a "gold star" pre-run routine, I was intrigued and decided to give it a try. In addition, I've struggled with injuries, poor flexibility, and mutant biomechanics (I need all the help I can get).

The mere mention of lunges has always made me "quake". They are often uncomfortable and difficult for individuals that lack flexibility. However, I trudged through my first set in June of 2012. To no surprise, it made me really sore. Determination won out as I wanted to give the routine a chance.

After a week, the soreness abated and I began to notice positive results. First, my hip area, specifically TFL (Tensor Fascia Lata) was improving in range of motion. This had long been an area of discomfort and a nuisance over the last 2 years. Second, my glutes and hamstrings developed more strength and flexibility. Finally, my recovery for the next run progressed more efficiently.

As a result, I implemented the program with cross country team I coach. Yes, there was moaning and groaning. Upon seeing that it was here to stay, the athletes ditched the complaining and made it a part of their pre-run training and racing routine. The number of injuries the team sustained decreased significantly. In addition, I firmly believe Lunge Matrix contributed to our program's success in 2012.

Lunge Matrix has been a staple in my training regiment. Since I've been consistently using it as a warm-up before running, my traning and racing efforts have improved significantly. More importantly, I've been able to train without nagging injuries.