You may be thinking, “Ohh no, not another article about lunges.” Well, you might be right about the suck part. You are stronger when performing your lower body exercises in a bilateral stance. You worry less about balance, unilateral core strength, or your stabilizing muscles are up for the job. Well, let me introduce you to the slant board lunge, the brainchild of Cristian G. Plascencia, CSCS.

You load up, and you’re off to the races.

Then there are lunges. You take your foot off the ground to lunge either forward, backward, or to the side. The reduced support base makes you work harder to perform a lower-body exercise as most of the load is shifted to one leg. Your ego takes a beating because there is less load involved, and if there are any deviations in form, it will become immediately apparent.

Not to mention, there is more heavy breathing and sweat involved. Yes, lunges suck, but they do strengthen imbalances and improve performance in and out of the gym. If you’re tired of regular lunges or looking for a new challenge, the slant board lunge is the way to go.

Coach Plascencia works with various athletes and all sports, from soccer to skateboarding to basketball, and consults with the University of Texas basketball team. So, if you’re sore the next day from slant board lunges, just remember the athletic gains that come after the pain goes away.

What Makes Lunges Great

“Lunges are a great way to load and strengthen the body outside a typical bilateral stance. More often than not, we don’t spend much time in a bilateral stance through daily life and athletic movements, so we must expose our bodies to similar movement patterns. You can also get highly creative with the direction you are loading your lunge, whether it be a curtsy lunge, lateral lunge, or forward or reverse lunge,” says Plascencia.

Slant Board Lunge Benefits

“The slant board lunge is an excellent variation for athletes, as it exposes the ankle to a posture often seen in basketball. If you look at the game closely, you will notice that athletes frequently have to rotate their bodies from right to left or left to right, which forces the angle to access this curved and angular position.

If the ankle doesn’t have enough inversion or inversion ability, you can expect another joint or tissue up the kinetic chain to compensate. So, the slant board helps the athlete access a specific posture and, by spending enough time and building up enough muscle activation intention, strengthen the joint capsule and surrounding tissues,” explains Plascencia.

Although specific to the game of basketball, slant board lunges have benefits outside of the basketball court. You will improve your balance and technique with regular lunges and access muscular development from a different angle to make your glutes and quads pop.

You may end up liking lunges after all.

Slant Board Lunge Form Tips

“Do not worry about how low you are going; keep a solid connection to the slate board. Lunge depth is not a concern here because if athletes lack the appropriate range of motion at the ankle joint and try to go too low, they will feed right back into a compensation cycle.

“I would say that you should be able to feel the tripod of the foot, which is the base of the big toe, the base of the pinky toe, and the center space of the heel,” says Plascencia.

The usual rules apply when performing slant board lunges for the first time. Ensure correct movement before adding load. Because you’re exposing muscles to a new stimulus, a learning curve is involved, and you don’t want to end up on a workout blooper video.

Programming Suggestions

Coach Plascencia likes to start his athletes in isometric hold positions in various lunge positions for around 20 seconds. Slowly build up until about 45 or 60 seconds old, then progress to reps. The slant board lunge is best performed for hypertrophy, conditioning, and muscular endurance, so it’s best performed for two to four sets, eight to 16 reps per side.