Reverse Lunge Once athletes have baseline strength and coordination while performing bilateral exercises like the Goblet Squat and basic unilateral exercises like the Low Step-Up, it’s time to add slightly more advanced unilateral (single-leg) exercises. Unilateral training is important for athletes because most actions in sport—sprinting, throwing or serving a ball, kicking a ball, moving laterally, and often jumping—require the exertion of force from one leg. Lunges provide athletes an opportunity to train unilaterally while still receiving some support from the nonactive leg. For beginners—while neuromuscular coordination and strength throughout the core and lower body is developed—stepping backward (Reverse Lunge) is a safer option than stepping forward (Front Lunge).
- Stand with feet hip width, knees bent, toes pointed forward, and core engaged.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides or one dumbbell at your chest like a goblet. See Goblet Squat.
- Take a step backward with your right foot, lowering hips until your left thigh is parallel to the floor.
- At the bottom of a Lunge, the front knee should be in line with the or slightly anterior (in front of) the ankle and the back knee in line with or slightly posterior to (behind) the hip while weight is distributed mostly through the hips and core. If knee valgus or knee instability is present (see Low Step-Up) avoid loading this exercise with any weight until corrected.
- Keep chest tall and shoulders back so that the spine remains neutral—not rounded or over-extended—from head to tail bone.
- Drive through your left leg and return to standing.
- Perform desired repetitions and repeat on other side.