Dumbbell Lunges

Most fitness sources recommend dumbbell lunges to beginners. But in fact, this is a difficult exercise that requires strength, coordination, endurance and the skill to correctly position the body in space. Yes, this is the most difficult movement in terms of planes. And not all coaches have the same view of lunges. While some consider this movement to be an affordable replacement for beginners squats with a barbell, others quite justifiably believe that it is better to refrain from lunges, because not everyone can hold their back correctly and not distort the pelvis during movement. Fortunately, almost any healthy person can master the correct technique for this effective exercise.


  • 1 Technique
    • 1.1 Starting position
    • 1.2 Movement
    • 1.3 Caution
    • 1.4 Trainers recommend
  • 2 Variations
  • 3 Analysis of exercises
    • 3.1 What muscles work
    • 3.2 Pros
    • 3.3 Cons
    • 3.4 Correct execution
    • 3.5 Technical errors
  • 4 How to increase the effectiveness of exercises
  • 5 Inclusion in the program
  • 6 Contraindications
  • 7 How to replace

Execution technique

Starting position

  1. It is very important to stand so that the feet are at the width of the hips, and not in the ruler. If you put your legs one after another in a line, you get the wrong position of the joint, "twisting", and a person can be injured. In addition, with the stop position “in the line” it is difficult to maintain balance, and it is almost impossible to maintain a straight back;
  2. The option with the back tilted forward is often promoted as “lunges for the buttocks, ” in fact, it makes sense if a person can keep the same angle throughout the entire exercise. Everyone else should keep the spine as perpendicular to the floor;
  3. Since dumbbells are usually heavy, it is worth taking them from the floor, bending the legs in the knee and hip joints, and use the straps if it is not possible to keep the legs in one position during the whole approach;
  4. The arrangement should be such that the dumbbells are in the hands on the same level. If the legs are of different lengths, or scoliosis is present, you need to align the body from the shoulder blades, that is, bring them together and lower them along the spine so that it is comfortable to stand;
  5. Body weight should be completely on the leg, which stands in front, and specifically, fall on the middle of the arch of the foot;
  6. During the entire exercise, the chest should be slightly raised, and the press should be pulled inward so that the body does not swing to the sides


  1. It is necessary to bend the legs in the knee and hip joints at the same time;
  2. In this case, the knee of the working leg should bend at a right angle;
  3. The supporting leg may or may not touch the floor with the knee, you need to monitor more the position of the thigh of the working leg;
  4. The amplitude should be as deep as possible if the exercise is aimed at the buttocks;
  5. The tilt of the body here will not help to gain the required amount of resistance, it would be better to put the supporting leg away, and sit deeper;
  6. The exhalation is standard, during rising, first all approaches are performed from one leg, then from the other


  1. The movement should occur in one plane, that is, the angle of the spine in relation to the floor does not change throughout the exercise;
  2. If the dumbbells are too heavy, and the student leans forward during training, he should take a smaller weight, as this error not only technically makes the exercise “ugly”, but can also cause loss of balance and fall, as well as injuries to the anterior cruciate ligaments;
  3. The knees should not "fall out" forward, only a slight deviation in the vertical position of the lower leg is allowed. It is because of this feature that people with poor stretching cannot perform lunges. They should stop on split squats, that is, put their supporting leg closer, and perform the exercise with the most stable hips;
  4. There is no need to try to “reach” deeper if the stretch does not allow. Work gradually, and the body adapts to the new exercise;
  5. Watch the position of the knee during extension, no need to "push" it in the opposite direction.

Coaches recommend

  • To control the position of the body with the help of a “screed” of the shoulder blades and pulling up the abdomen, and smooth correct breathing;
  • To get up at the expense of muscles, and not “jumps” and due to repulsion by a supporting leg;
  • Keep track of the direction of the knees, do not roll them in and out;
  • The working leg should not change the position of the thigh due to “swinging” in the hip joint


  • Dynamic lunges. They are “lunges with a step back, ” but this name is less common. They are ordinary lunges, but with a step back. It is necessary to take a starting position each time. The working leg does not move, only the supporting foot steps;
  • Lunges in stride width - with medium width, with large and split squats. Accordingly, the setting of the feet affects muscle accents. The split squat is more likely to work out the biceps of the thigh, the “wide step” - the buttock, and the “classic” - the quadriceps;
  • Lunges in a step are “walking” through the hall with lunges, that is, a step, bending of the knees and hips, and a step forward with a support leg. For some unknown reason, it is believed that this is the best attack for the buttocks, girls, weight loss and advertising fitness training. In fact, this is an exercise for quadriceps, in most versions.

Parsing exercise

What muscles work

The main movers:

  • Quadriceps and gluteus maximus;
  • Hips biceps
  • Calf

Auxiliary muscles

  1. Body stabilizers - press, long back muscle, and the widest;
  2. Medium and small gluteal;
  3. Muscles of the forearm and palms;
  4. Trapezoidal, especially when holding a large weight;
  5. Rhomboid muscles


  • The movement is suitable for low-equipped halls, for home use and for different situations when the hall is busy and the gym equipment is busy;
  • It helps to burn quite a lot of calories through the study of body muscles in statics;
  • Improves coordination both for game sports, and for household physical activity;
  • Helps to get rid of back pain from exercises in Smith's simulator;
  • Safe enough for those who injured their lower back and cannot squat with a barbell;
  • It can in some cases be used for hernias and protrusions, the condition is the absence of distortions in the pelvic region, and twisting efforts. In this case, smaller weights of weights and statodynamic modes of operation are usually used.


  • This is the most difficult fitness movement in terms of coordination, if you do not take attempts to master weightlifting exercises. For the harmonious development of both halves of the body, the novice trainer must literally fight, if a person tries to independently master the exercise, it does not always meet quality standards;
  • Trained athletes are forced to use the straps or move on the barbell to really load their legs, in most ordinary fitness rooms there are no heavy dumbbells.

Correct execution

  1. The shells need to be held in straightened hands, sometimes it is recommended to hold them on your shoulders, but if the goal is to work on balance and prevent the body from tilting, another option is better - holding dumbbells in front of the chest;
  2. The knee of the supporting leg can either slightly touch the floor or not touch, the depth depends on the anthropometry of the athlete. People with long hips almost always touch the floor with any movement technique;
  3. Narrow staging is not recommended for purposes not related to athletics. Hip joints in this variant are overloaded, and it is quite easy to lose balance;
  4. The movement should not be carried out in a ballistic style, that is, due to a sharp lowering down and “knocking” the knee off the floor;
  5. It is necessary to approximately place the weight between the middle of the arch of the foot of the working leg, and the toe of the support;
  6. Rounding of the back and leaning forward should be avoided;
  7. Deflection in the lumbar, but not in the chest, is allowed

Technical errors

  • Repulsion from the floor with the toe of the supporting leg;
  • “Leap” to lowering and knocking off the knee from the floor;
  • Rounding in the chest;
  • Lean forward;
  • Shoulder lifts with each repetition;
  • Inward-outward movement of the knee

How to increase exercise efficiency

  • Lunging is a good move, but it should not replace squats and traction. Too weak muscles of the hips are usually the reason that the knees "chatter" at each repetition and the person cannot correctly perform the movement;
  • It is better to include lunges in the program on the day of squats, and not on the day of traction, although they work out more quadriceps;
  • The best option for deepening the amplitude is to put the working foot on the step platform;
  • There is a complicated option - the Bulgarian split squat, in which the “back” leg is placed on the support, but in this case the height should be such as to exclude the push with the back foot from the support;
  • At the lower point, you can forcefully reduce the muscles of the buttocks, but this does not affect the distribution of the load in movement too much. If you want to include gluteal more - work in high amplitude, and not in its upper third;
  • Exercise must obey the laws of progressive increase in load. That is, it will not work all my life to lunges with one small dumbbell and wonder why the buttock does not grow;
  • If you can’t do the exercise with dumbbells of greater weight, for some time you can add resistance with rubber bands, but it is still recommended to reconsider your load on the legs;
  • It is possible to carry out not only lunges, but also “stepping” onto a high platform to enable gluteal muscles to work more;
  • The movement does not have to be done using the “lunges-steps” technique. This recent fashion has gone from crossfit, where steps are considered one of the ways to work out the body stability needed for weightlifting;
  • It is necessary to gradually master attacks. Start with the option without dumbbells, then take the weights, and only after that put your feet on the steps, perform the Bulgarian split squat and step

Program Inclusion

Including lunges in the program is quite simple. It is necessary to perform them on the day of the knee-dominant squat, or, if there is none in the program, on the day of the leg press. Usually lunges are the second exercise in the program after squats, simply because they have a complex coordination character. Not all people can do them at the end of a workout, you need to consider this.

Finishing a workout with walking lunges around the hall is also a fashion trend, and not a methodical technique. People should use it only if the technique of performing lunges in a step allows them to do it after the exhaustion of muscles has been achieved.

The repeated modes of this exercise depend on the goals of the athlete and the weights of weights used by him. It is a myth that attacks with dumbbells cannot be done in short power 4-6 repeated sets. If the goal is precisely to develop strength, you should use this approach.

Can lunges be recommended as the main movement on the day of the legs "> Contraindications

Lungs are not shown for any injuries of the knees and ankles that are in the phase of active recovery, they can not be done by those who, due to the state of the central nervous system, have serious problems with spatial orientation, and they are not recommended if there is no technical skill and it is not Opportunities to get due to little mobility in the joints and inflammation of the ligaments.

How to replace

Contrary to the prevailing opinion in fitness literature, the exercise is replaced by a vertical bench press with one leg, or a bench press with one leg in the simulator. This is recommended for those who should not be given heavy dumbbells in their hands for reasons related to injuries or the condition of the trapezius muscle.