Published on: February 3rd, 2020
Updated on: November 28th, 2023
This article is in categories: Exercises | Fitness

The lunge or split squat is a lower-body exercise that works the hamstrings, quads, glutes, and calves of a single leg. The movement will improve your mobility and stability while strengthening the core muscle groups.

Closing your eyes will give an extra boost to balance development. Ensure you are in a safe environment before adding in this trick. 

Benefits of the Lunge

  • Strengthens the full leg (hamstrings, glutes, quads, calves)
  • Improves knee stability
  • Increases hip and ankle mobility
  • Develops power production in the front leg, which will benefit running or other athletic movements
  • No equipment needed
  • Can be performed anywhere

Movement Standards

  1. Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Step forward with one foot to a comfortable distance while landing midfoot.
  3. Lower your hips by bending at the knees while your torso stays upright. Your gaze should be forward.
  4. Stack your knee of the forward leg over your ankle, keeping it perpendicular to the floor.
  5. When both knees reach 90-degrees, return to the standing position by pushing off the ground with the rear foot and lifting with your front leg.
  6. Alternate legs and repeat for the recommended number of repetitions.


  • Overstriding with the front leg or not bending the back knee may strain the hip-flexor.
  • Maintain control when lowering to prevent crashing your knee into the ground.
  • Do not position your foot directly behind the opposite during the step back to prevent instability.
  • Keep your spine neutral and your front foot flat on the ground to reduce the risk of injury.
  • Ensure the area is free of obstacles.

Variations of the Lunge

  • Reverse lunge
  • Weighted
  • Rear Foot Elevated
  • Crossover
  • Walking Lunge
  • Split Lunge

Progressions for the Lunge

  • half lunge or reduce the range of motion to your ability.
  • Split Squat holds. Hold in a reduced range of motion to increase strength and stability.
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