Forward lunge: a training study of eccentric exercises of the lower limbs

J Strength Cond Res. 2009 May;23(3):972-8. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181a00d98.


A few studies have shown that eccentric exercise is effective for prevention and treatment of muscle injuries. Most earlier studies on eccentric exercises have used training with advanced equipment. Forward lunges are considered eccentric exercises, and they may be performed without any equipment. These exercises are commonly used by sprint runners. We performed a prospective, randomized, 6-week training study comparing the effects of walking or jumping forward lunges on hamstring and quadriceps strength and function. Thirty-two soccer players were included in the study. The forward lunge training was done as an addition to ordinary soccer training twice a week for 6 weeks. The outcome was measured by the maximal hamstring and quadriceps strength tests and by functional tests with 1-leg hop tests and 30-m sprint runs. Overall muscle pain was evaluated using a visual analogue scale score, and local pain was estimated with an algometer. Whereas the walking lunge improved hamstring strength, the jumping lunge resulted in sprint running improvements. Algometer testing showed a general increase in the pain detection thresholds of all subjects, including the controls. Thus, precautions should be taken when algometers are used for temporal studies of pain. Walking and jumping forward lunges can be used for improving hamstring strength and running speed in young soccer player. The findings may have relevance when designing protocols for prevention and rehabilitation of muscle injuries.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Lower Extremity / physiology*
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prospective Studies
  • Soccer / physiology*
  • Sweden
  • Walking / physiology