How to Do the Lunge Correctly

Lunges are one of the most efficient ways to easily build strength in multiple parts of your body, including your calves, core, and glutes. Their relative ease makes them incredibly popular for at home or gym workouts. However, the exercise is only effective when done correctly. If you let your form slip, you’ll lose a lot of the powerful punch a lunge can provide – as well as possible cause long-term damage.

Foot Placement

One of the most common issues keeping people from achieving a proper lung is foot placement. Your foot should point straight ahead – avoid rotating it out and away from your body. If your foot is rotated, it can put undue stress on your ankle and knee.

Knee Alignment

As you place your foot correctly and begin to lower into a lunge, pay attention to where your knee is landing. Your knee should be in line with the outer portion of your leg. It is common for people to rotate their knee to the inside of their body as they lunge forward. This usually happens because of improper training or some sort of knee weakness. As soon as you rotate your knee to the inside, you stop working the outside of your glut, losing potential muscle work.

Holding Your Chest

Once you have fully lowered into a lunge, make sure to keep your chest high and neutral. Avoid leaning excessively forward. When you lean forward, you drive all the pressure and weight towards your toes and knees. You should keep your body established in a vertical placement over your legs.

Make it Even

You may have perfect lunge technique on your right side, but everything starts to slip when you move to your left side. This is actually relatively common, especially if you have an injury or are recovering from surgery. Find a qualified trainer to work with you on making sure you keep your weaker knee in the correct position.

If you are placing your body directly in a lunge, you should come down into the proper position without any issue. Interested in becoming a lunge expert? Join the qualified trainers at D1 Sports Training to learn how to exercise safely and effectively.

Good Advice from the Lion Hunter’s Wife

“My wife made me come in.”

That’s what a lot of guys say when they walk into Orthopedic Institute’s walk-in clinic, OI NOW. So says Ryan Slaba who runs the clinic. Women just seem to know what’s best for their husbands, children and themselves says Slaba, a physician’s assistant, who has been running orthopedic walk-in clinics for 6 years.

“A lot of people are very active and don’t have time to schedule an appointment,” says Slaba. “They want to get things taken care of right away.”

That’s where OI NOW shines. Men and women on the go need things taken care of now, says Slaba, without an appointment.  Sprains. Strains. Fractures. Work-related injuries, low back pain, overuse injuries, sports related injuries—anything orthopedic.  When it comes to non-emergency orthopedic care, OI NOW can do it all—take an X-Ray, MRI or a CT scan, give an injection, wrap an ankle, set a bone and get people on their way. And, if necessary, OI NOW will make referrals to the broad spectrum of experienced surgeons on the OI staff.

Most of all, OI NOW patients get personalized care. “We listen,” says Slaba. “We problem solve. And we do the right thing for the patient.”

OI NOW sees just about everything and everyone, from school aged kids, to stay-at-home moms, to lion hunters—as  evidenced by the ironic case of Troy Swift, electrical contractor, athlete and lion hunter.   The hunt took place in New Mexico.  It was a dangerous, grueling 60-hour man and dog chase and Swift bagged a large male mountain lion without a scratch.  But, next day, while playing basketball, Swift went up for a dunk and on the way down twisted his knee. “Everyone on the court heard it go “POP!’” said Swift.

Swift’s wife, Kimberly, told him to go to OI NOW.

Diagnosis: a torn meniscus.

Slaba referred Swift to a surgeon. Michael Adler, MD, the surgeon on call for Orthopedic Institute, performed the surgical repair, and today Swift feels good, has his stability back, and is working and taking care of livestock.

Swift says he got great care from everyone. But what he liked most was “how fast they got me in.” Swift injured himself between Christmas and New Years in New Mexico and drove home. “I went into OI NOW on a Monday and had surgery on Friday of that same week,” said Swift. “They expedited me through the process.”

Getting Back in the Game

What do Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Brandi Chastain, Ali Krieger, Heather Mitts and Molly Doetzel have in common?  They are all talented women soccer players who tore an ACL. And all, except Molly, played for the U.S. National Team.

Molly is still in high school and hasn’t achieved recognition on a national stage. But here, in Sioux Falls, she’s a star.

Molly anchored the defense for the O’Gorman’s Lady Knights soccer team that was so dominating that this year they gave up just six goals the entire season. And, no surprise, they won the state championship.

Molly was a big reason for the championship.  Need proof?  Had Molly not been injured, it’s entirely possible O’Gorman could have won last year, too.  It was in the state semi-finals that she tore her ACL, aka anterior cruciate ligament, and the Lady Knights fell short of the state championship.

Molly wanted to get back into action as quickly as possible.  She and her parents wondered who to call.  “Tons of people told us Dr. Looby was the best,” Molly said, referring to Peter A. Looby, an orthopedic surgeon with Orthopedic Institute.

And with good reason. Dr. Looby completed his Fellowship in Sports Medicine at Harvard and, while there, was team orthopedic surgeon for the Bruins (hockey), the Revolution (soccer) and for the New England Patriots.  Looby knows how to help athletes get back in the game.

“One thing striking about NFL quality athletes is their ability to heal,” said Dr. Looby. “They are incredibly motivated. They get injured Sunday, you treat them Monday, they play next Sunday.”

The athlete’s motivation and Dr. Looby’s care got them ready. It was this level of care Dr. Looby   provided to Molly. “I was trained to handle elite athletes,” said Dr. Looby.  “I apply this training to all athletes whether they are training for the pros or they are weekend warriors.”

And so it was with Molly. “Dr. Looby repaired my ACL and helped me quickly regain strength and flexibility,” Molly said. “Everyone told me—and from my own experience—that Dr. Looby is the best of the best.” Something she echoes regarding her experience at Orthopedic Institute, particularly the rehabilitation process, which was led by Brad Pfeifle, VP of Sports Medicine & Rehab Services. According to her coach, Ryan Beier, “We didn’t know if she would be able to come back this season as strong as she had been in the past. She was able to play at full strength, if not even better than before and she didn’t need to wear a brace because of the hard work she did in therapy at Orthopedic Institute and with Brad.”

Although it might seem strange, tearing her ACL turned out to be a great, even life changing, experience for Molly. Consider: where does Molly go from here? Does she want to play at the next level? Qualify for the national team?

No, Molly wants to hit the books. So inspired was she by her experience with Dr. Looby and Orthopedic Institute that she’s now thinking about a career in sports medicine—something that touched Dr. Looby’s heart.

“It’s hard to imagine there could be any higher accolade,” Dr. Looby said.

Thank You to All of Our Veterans from Orthopedic Institute

At Orthopedic Institute, we want to say THANK YOU for serving to all veterans who are family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and especially our patients. Here is a story shared by one of our patients, Jim Lentsch, who has served 30 years in the military reserve.

Jim Lentsch is a delightful patient who is 69 years old and has had knee problems for years and kept putting knee surgery off because he had heard so many horror stories. Then he met Dr. Michael Adler of Orthopedic Institute. He met him at the VA Hospital and really liked him and could relate to him. He did one knee in March 2014 and the other one in May 2014. Here is his story:

“I have been in the military reserve for 30 years. Desert Storm was the only time I was called up. I have spent 34 years in law enforcement in McCook County. I’m proud to be the State Captain of the South Dakota Patriot Guard Riders.   The Patriot Guard Riders is a diverse amalgamation of riders from across the nation. We have one thing in common besides motorcycles. We have an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for America’s freedom and security. To learn more about the SD Patriot Guard Riders, visit

Thank you, Jim, for your service and all you continue to do for our servicemen and women from Orthopedic Institute.