5 Lunge Variations for Lower Body Strength (Video)

Step forward and learn how to perform this staple single-leg bodyweight exercise.



Welcome to our series featuring calisthenics expert Al Kavadlo. This week, Al introduces the lunge, a versatile lower-body drill that can improve strength, flexibility, and stability. He describes five different ways to perform the lunge so that you can master this fundamental leg exercise.

  • Stationary lunge – Also known as the split squat. With your legs in a staggered stance, bend your knees and lower into the lunge position, then push up.
  • Forward lunge – Starting with your legs side by side, step forward with one leg and lower into the lunge. When you push up, you can either walk forward or return to the starting position with your legs side by side.
  • Backward lunge – Also called a reverse lunge, this move starts with a backward rather than forward step.
  • Side lunge – Bring your foot out to the side and bend your knee. The other leg should stay straight. This variation may challenge your flexibility at first.
  • Jumping lunge – Instead of merely pushing up from the bottom of the lunge, explode into the air so both feet are off the ground. Alternate your legs while you are in the air and land with the other leg forward so that you can pump out multiple unbroken reps.

Be sure to keep your torso upright and tight when you lunge. Your shoulders should stay stacked above your hips, and even though you engage the muscles in your upper body, your lower body will do most of the work. Use the lunge diligently in your workouts, and it will turn your legs into tree trunks.