Sure, some version of the squat and the deadlift should be staples of every program, but they only make you move in the sagittal (forward and backward) plane of movement. They don't require you to go from side to side.
This is a huge missed opportunity for athletes and weekend warriors. No one wants a blown ACL. You want to be able to trust your knees if you need to change direction sideways playing basketball or making a cut on the football field. And you never know when you'll slip on ice or find yourself having to catch your balance when you're in an awkward position.
Adding simple exercises like the lateral lunge or the goblet variation will help your knees and keep your legs more balanced.
- Stand with your knees and hips slightly bent, feet shoulder-width apart.
- Keeping your head and chest up, take a slow side-step to the right. Keep your toes pointed forward.
- Keep the left foot in place and shift your weight to the right leg.
- Flex the right knee and hip into a lateral lunge. Keep your upper body upright or slightly bent forward.
- Pause at the bottom. A straight line should form between your right foot, knee, and shoulder.
- Push your body back to the starting position.
Tip: You might not be able to get all the way down like you would with a normal squat. Cool. Go as far down as you can. Once you get a little better at it, add some weight with a kettlebell or a dumbbell.
Goblet Lateral Lunge
Use the same starting position and movement as the lateral lunge. Keep the weight tucked under your chin like you would for a goblet squat.