Ah, the forward lunge — the exercise so many people love to hate.
You might avoid it because of the deep burn it produces in your quads, yet there are few better exercises for sculpting lean, powerful legs. But turning heads isn’t the only reason to weave this classic move into your workout routine.
When performed with perfect form (as you’re about to learn), the strength and mobility you’ll build will not only make everyday efforts (like carrying groceries and climbing stairs) easier, but also boost your performance in sports ranging from running to basketball.
How to Perform a Forward Lunge With Perfect Form
- Stand tall holding a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length by your sides (palms in) with your feet hip-width apart.
- Keeping your chest up, shoulders back, core braced (imagine someone is about to hit you in the gut), and back flat, take a large step forward with your right foot. Lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the ground and your rear knee is bent 90 degrees (it should hover a couple of inches above the floor).
- Pause, and then reverse the movement to return to the starting position. Repeat, this time stepping forward with your left foot. Continue alternating legs with each rep.
Muscles Targeted by the Forward Lunge
Primarily your quadriceps and glutes, but also your hamstrings, calves, and core.
How to Make the Forward Lunge Easier
Perform the move using only your bodyweight, don’t descend quite as far toward the floor, or perform a rear lunge, stepping back into the move instead of forward.
How to Make the Forward Lunge Harder
Use heavier weights and/or hold the bottom position for longer.
You can also try variations, including walking and lateral lunges, as well as the lunge row twist.
Bonus Tip for Doing the Forward Lunge
One of the most common mistakes people make when performing the lunge is keeping their stance too narrow. As you step forward, imagine that there’s a line running between your feet, and try to keep each foot four to six inches to either side.