Lunges - Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gluteus Maximus

Author: Lora Packel, PhD, MS, PT & Julia McGlynn, SPT
Last Reviewed: October 12, 2016

Disclaimer: You should discuss your health risks, previous injuries, and current treatments with your provider or physical therapist before starting any exercise program.

  • Beginner:
    • Lunge with stable, sturdy object next to you for stability.
    • Lunge one leg forward, about a stride length in front of you so that your knee bends at a 90-degree angle, allowing the trailing leg behind you to bend.
      • Be sure to keep your torso straight and to not let your knees move further than your toes.
    • Return back to the starting position.
    • Complete on the opposite side.
    • Complete 10 repetitions on each leg for 2 sets.
  • Intermediate:
    • You are ready to add weight when you can easily perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions on each leg without difficulty, or you rate the difficulty of the exercise as a 1-2 on a scale of 0-10
    • The exercise can also be advanced with the incorporation of holding onto free weights. While holding a 1-2 lb. weight in each hand, perform the given lunging exercise as previously mentioned above.
  • Advanced:
    • When the ‘intermediate’ version of the lunging exercise is able to be completed with 2 sets of 10 repetitions, or you rate the difficulty of the exercise as a 1-2 on a scale of 0-10 you can progress to this exercise.
    • While lunging, hold 1-2 lb. weights in each hand and perform bicep curls (bend your elbows so that your hands meet your upper arms/shoulders) with each arm while alternately lunging forward with each leg.
  • Precautions/Contraindications to exercise:
    • This exercise is not to be completed if bony metastases are present in any of the lower extremity or upper extremity bones utilized during this exercise and its variants.

The following videos demonstrate lunges.

Beginner Lunge

Intermediate Lunge

Advanced Lunge