Reverse lunges, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hip

Exercise of the Month: Reverse Lunge

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The major muscles involved are the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. The knee and hip joints are flexed on the eccentric (downward) portion of the exercise and extended during the concentric (upward) portion. The abdominals and erector spinea are isometrically contracted throughout the exercise for stabilization.

Much more than the squat, this exercise is an excellent choice for athletes. The biggest advantage for athletes and fitness buffs alike is its ability to strengthen and stretch the muscles surrounding the hip joint. The action strengthened by performing this exercise is imperative for sports like basketball, soccer, football, gymnastics, wrestling and fencing.

For bodybuilders and powerlifters, the reverse lunge’s benefits are muscle building and stabilization. Balance is an integral part of performing this exercise correctly. It’s the main reason you cannot use an extremely heavy load. The better you get at performing an “unstable” exercise like the lunge, the stronger you will be performing a more stable exercise like the squat. And remember, strength should be your ultimate goal. The greater the load, the higher the tension on the muscle. The higher the tension on the muscle, the greater the growth response.

The Reverse Lunge:

  • Stand straight with the dumbbells hanging directly at your sides and your feet shoulder width apart. You can also use a barbell but dumbbells are much more comfortable and natural.
  • While looking straight ahead with her chest up, Elsie will take a deep breath and step back as far as she can.
  • Elsie will lower herself until her hip is just below her knee.
  • In the bottom position, notice she is looking straight ahead, her chest is up, and the dumbbells are hanging directly at her sides.
  • From this position, she will use her forward leg to lift her body back to the starting point.
  • While in the concentric phase, make sure your knee does not turn medially or to the midline of your body. This movement signifies weak glutes and that the load is too great. Lower the weight until you can perform the exercise correctly.


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