How to do a lunge

How to do a lunge - main image

Ensuring the right starting position with your left leg, feet hip-width apart to do a forward lunge… let’s make instructions simple

The lunge. It’s one of the most classic exercises and warm-ups going. From under-10s Rugby to 30-year-old weight lifters, the lunge has seen popularity for decades… and for good reason.

Lunges train our quadriceps, some of the most powerful leg muscles that allow us to perform most athletic movements. The lunge exercise may be brilliant, but it’s only maximising development or growth if the lunge position is correct. With the right starting position and correct form, you’ll be triggering hypertrophy and gaining muscle every time you engage with the exercise (if you progressively overload you’re maximising muscle gain here too).

So, from starting with your feet shoulder-width apart as the right standing position to following through with the exercise and completing the full range of motion, let’s take a look at a simple step-by-step guide and perform the best lunge possible today.

How to do a forward lunge

It’s always good to asses variations of a movement. Lunges, for example, like other exercises, have great variations that you can capitalise on if needed. Reverse lunges and switch legs are great lunge variations, but before thinking about any of this – you need to get the initial technique and form right.

Let’s use Greatist’s how-to here –

1. Stand tall with feet hip-width apart. Engage your core.

2. Take a big step forward with right leg. Start to shift your weight forward so heel hits the floor first.

3. Lower your body until right thigh is parallel to the floor and right shin is vertical. It’s OK if the knee shifts forward a little as long as it doesn’t go past right toe. If mobility allows, lightly tap the left knee to the floor while keeping weight in the right heel.

4. Press into right heel to drive back up to starting position.

5. Repeat on the other side.”

So in short, lunge forward with the right foot, right knee, and then repeat using the left foot…you get the idea….

Reverse lunge

Let’s take a look at the reverse lunge quickly. You want to rid yourself of the forward lunge technique in your mind while retaining some aspects of the movement; a variation can often feel very different, so a different way of thinking is important too.

Make sure to stand with your feet flat and hip-width apart. You must engage your core muscles as the movement requires a lot of central stability. Then you should begin to take a step backwards with one leg. This is the backward lunge. You want to make sure you push off your back leg (similar to the forward lunge position) and return to neutral.


If you want to learn more about the walking lunge, for example, then check out more info online. The world of lunges can strengthen, hone and even unlock abilities that already exist within.

Do the right thing and grow those legs today.


Should I perform lunges if my backfoot is damaged?

You should be careful, but lunges may help regenerate back foot issues not damage them.

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