- Target Muscle Group
- Exercise TypeStrength
- Equipment RequiredBodyweight
- Force TypePush (Unilateral)
- Experience LevelBeginner
- Secondary Muscles
Abs, Adductors, Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings
Target Muscle Group
Bodyweight Lunge Overview
The bodyweight lunge is a lunge variation and an exercise used to strengthen the muscles of the legs including the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.
The lunge is a foundational movement pattern that should be incorporated into every workout program and trained fairly frequently.
Those looking to add lunges into their own workout programs should follow the single leg sample progression scheme outlined in the notes below.
Bodyweight Lunge Instructions
- Set up with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Step forward with one leg and allow both knees to bend simultaneously.
- Descend until the back knee touches the floor.
- Drive through the front foot and extend the knee as you stand up fully and return to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Bodyweight Lunge Tips
Forward lunges are a more advanced progression and should only be utilized once one has the requisite hip and core stability. In general, a proper single leg progression scheme might look like this:
- Step Up
- Split Squat > Front foot elevated
- Reverse Lunge > Front foot elevated
- Single Leg Squat to Bench
- Lateral Lunge
- Bulgarian/Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat (RFESS)
- Single Leg Squat From Bench
- Walking Lunge
- Forward Lunge
- Single Leg Skater Squat
- Pistol Squat
- Don’t rush the progression scheme, earn the right to use every exercise and don’t neglect any of them.
- When you go to push back to the starting position, fight the urge to lead the movement with your shoulders by hyperextending at your spine. Instead, look to drive the movement via force from your lower body.
- In the bottom of the movement both of your legs should be at 90 degree angles at the knees.
- Keep in mind that with any sort of lunge or split squat pattern, if you want to emphasize the quads, focus on taking a slightly smaller step and drive up through the ball of the foot.
- If you want to emphasize the glutes and hamstrings during any sort of lunge or split squat pattern, focus on taking a slightly larger step and drive up through the heel of the foot.
Should you alternate legs, or always step,forward with the same leg?
You can do either, Tim. Both work. If you feel one leg is weaker, do all the reps with that one before switching. Hope this helps!