If I told you that holding a lunge for five minutes can improve your life, would you believe me? It may sound crazy but this exercise can have a major positive impact on your life. The move is called the Extreme Isometric Lunge. This is one of the simplest exercises on the planet but the impact can be profound. The name says isometric but it’s really an eccentric move since you’ll be slowly lowering your body till your legs hit the ground. I originally heard about this exercise in an article on just-fly-sports.com. It sounded interesting and crazy but I didn’t know how to add it to my workout routine. Once the pandemic started and gyms were closed down, the opportunity to experiment with this exercise came.
There are obvious physical benefits to holding a 5 minute lunge. The main one is that you’ll build strong, durable legs. The extreme isometric lunge is often used by athletes as knee prehab or rehab. I can speak from experience when I say your knees will thank you for doing this move. The least obvious physical benefit is that it will make your nervous system more efficient. Every physical activity you do from brushing your teeth to running a mile is regulated by your nervous system. The more efficient your nervous system is the more optimal your performance will be when performing any physical activity. More importantly, your nervous system is responsible for every function of your body including your breathing, digestion, speaking, and hearing. An efficient nervous system means a healthy body in most cases.
The center of your nervous system is your brain. A healthy nervous system means a healthy brain. I mentioned the nervous system’s impact on your physical activities. This is only made possible because of your brain’s ability to process information. This can come in handy when you’re receiving new instructions at work or having a conversation with someone. Listening and understanding are big parts of communication. A lot of problems in life can be avoided if we all did a better job listening to and understanding others.
The 5 minute Extreme Isometric Lunge can help you live a happier life because it teaches you mindfulness. One of the goals of meditation is to help you be calm in chaotic situations. If you can remain calm when your brain wants to panic in the lunge, you can remain calm in most life situations. The Extreme Isometric Lunge has taught me to be less reactant to things in life. When you’re holding a five minute lunge, you’ll be tempted to react to the uncomfortable feelings in your muscles, the shaking of your legs, or the stressful thoughts that pop in your head. If you can avoid reacting to those things then you’ve earned a win over your mind. This is a key to happiness since most of our unhappiness in life is due to what’s going on inside our minds.
The extreme isometric lunge also teaches you that everything is temporary. During that 5 minutes you’ll be struggling but after that you’re free to do other things. If we’re counting both legs, that’s ten minutes out of the entire day. I used to dread doing the lunges and even pictured the difficulty of doing them. One day I realized that I’m only adding to the pain by imagining it. I was making something that only lasted 5 minutes into something even longer. This lesson can apply to anything you dread doing. If you’re going to do it anyways, why add to the pain by constantly thinking about it? When you commit to doing this exercise consistently, you’ll learn this.
One of the benefits of doing the 5 minute iso lunge holds is you’ll develop your will. Have you ever decided to do something and you wouldn’t let anything in the world stop you? It almost seemed like every force in the world was going to help you do that thing. That’s when you’re using your will. The famous author, Carlos Castaneda once said that “ will is what can make you succeed when your thoughts tell you that you’re defeated”. When you’re holding the iso lunge, you’ll have different things working against you like muscle fatigue, your doubts, and fears. You’ll also hear thoughts like your legs are tired or you’ve held the position long enough. You develop your will when you decide that nothing will stop you from holding the lunges for 5 minutes straight. Every time you do this, your will becomes stronger. As you develop your will in the lunge, you’ll feel the urge to apply this to other areas of your life.
How To Do The Extreme Isometric Lunge
The Extreme Isometric Lunge is a very simple exercise to do. The position is very similar to the featured image but there are some differences. Below are the instructions
- Take off your shoes
- Using only your bodyweight, put your self in a lunging position.
- Maintain an upright posture
- Make sure your front leg forms a right angle and your back leg is as straight as possible
- Actively flex the hamstring of your front leg and the glute of your back leg
- Slowly lower your legs as time passes
- Make sure your back knees don’t touch the ground for the duration of time.
This exercise which is highly regarded by fitness experts like Jay Schroeder and Dr. Tommy John will have a profound effect on your life if you’re willing to take the challenge. The more often you do it, the more you’ll see it’s impact. This exercise will never be easy but it’s completely worth it.
Source for Carlos Castaneda quote: A Separate Reality: Further Conversations with Don Juan (1971) ISBN 0-671-73249-8.
Link to original article about this exercise: https://www.just-fly-sports.com/one-mans-dive-into-extreme-isometrics/