Lunge Exercise Guide

Reviewed by Valerie Zeller Valerie Zeller Printable version

A lunge is a versatile strength training move for your lower body that can be done in place or while moving across the floor. Lunges don’t require any special equipment and can be practiced anywhere, making them a great exercise for when you’re on the go.


How to do Lunge


Stay holding palms on shoulders or clasped behind back.


Start standing up with your feet at hip width, and your hands on your hips so that you can feel that they stay level as you step forwards and back. Also, before you start make sure you have enough clear level floor space in front of you to be able to take a big step forwards.

Rise up on to your toes and balance yourself, then take a long step forwards with your right foot. As your front foot makes contact with the floor, bend at both knees to lower yourself down into the lunge position. At the bottom of your lunge, your knees should both be bent to approximately 90 degrees.

From the bottom position, push up and backwards using your front foot with enough energy so that you can step the front foot back to join side by side with the rear foot. As you return back to the start position try to stay up on your toes and balance without putting the heals down.

Repeat this whole step, knee bend and push back process with the other leg. Make sure you complete an even number of repetitions on each leg during the time for the exercise.

Watch out for your front heal lifting up off the floor, try to keep your heal down and push up out of your heal to return to the standing position. Avoid leaning forwards or backwards when lunging, aim to keep an upright spine.


  • As an extra reward, pick up a pair of dumbbells to keep at the hands when doing the lunge.

  • You should comfortably do lunges when breastfeeding. When the bump throws you off balance, consider calming down and putting your hands on your shoulders for improved equilibrium.

  • To make this step a bit smoother, don't fall far into the lunge.


  • Keep torso upright during lunge; flexible hip flexors are important. Lead knee should point same direction as foot throughout lunge. A long lunge emphasizes Gluteus Maximus; short lunge emphasizes Quadriceps.

Exercise Benefits

  • Glute Strength

  • Leg Stretch

  • Leg Strength

Illustrated Guide

Learn how to do lunge from this step-by-step illustrations:

Weighted Lunge 1
Weighted Lunge 2
Weighted Lunge 3
Weighted Lunge 4
Weighted Lunge 5
Weighted Lunge 6
Weighted Lunge 7
Weighted Lunge 8
Weighted Lunge 9
Weighted Lunge 11

Muscles Worked

The muscles used for lunge may change slightly based on the your trained range of motion and technique, but in the most general case, the muscles used for lunge are:

Primary Muscles

  • Calves
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Hip Flexors

Synergyst Muscles

  • Soleus
  • Hip Adductors

Frequently Asked Questions

What muscles does Lunge work?
Lunge works calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors.
What is Lunge good for?
Lunge is beneficial for conditioning and to strengthen. It works the best for buttocks, hips, legs, lower body, lower legs, thighs and upper legs, as it works calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors. Lunge is a great bodyweight exercise for men, men over 50, women and women over 50.
Is Lunge a good exercise?
Lunge is a popular bodyweight exercise for calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors.

Training, Progressions and Regressions

Interested in how to improve your Lunge faster?

Lunge Training and Progressions

Standards and Averages

Wonder how do others perform in Lunge and how should you?

Lunge Standards and Averages


Wonder how to work the same muscles with other exercises?

Lunge Alternatives


Wonder how to make Lunge either easier or more challenging?

Lunge Variations

Discover more


Type(s) Bodyweight, Calisthenic, Strength, Compound
Muscles Worked Gastrocnemius, Biceps Femoris, Quadriceps, Hip Flexors, Soleus, Hip Abductors
Difficulty Level(s) Easy, Simple
Equipment No Equipment
Location At Gym, At Home, Outdoor

Muscles Worked

Target muscle(s) Calves, Hamstrings, Quadriceps, Hip Flexors
Synergyst muscle(s) Soleus, Hip Adductors

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