Reverse Lunge

Reverse lunges tone the legs and butt, and place less stress on the knees.

  • Main muscles worked: Upper Legs (quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors), glutes
  • Other muscles: Abs, calves
  • Exercise type: Compound, bodyweight
  • Equipment: No equipment

Reverse lunges are a foundational and functional move that strengthens and tones the legs and builds the glutes. Stepping back targets the glutes more and puts less strain on the knees than a forward lunge.1 This exercise also works the quads, hamstrings, and inner thighs.

Furthermore, because the reverse lunge is a unilateral exercise it requires you to maintain your balance as you step back, which helps improve balance, stability and coordination. Working one side of the body at a time can also fix muscle imbalances between the right and left side of the body.

Variations: You can make reverse lunges more challenging by placing your hands over your head, adding weight (e.g. dumbbell or kettlebell), placing slider or towel under your back foot, or elevating your front foot a couple of inches. You can also add an extra move, such as a cable row, to turn this lower body exercise into a full body move.


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