Basic Lunges

Basic Lunges

Level: Basic, Intermediate, Advanced

Basic lunges are an ideal exercise to master as they work the quads, glutes, hamstrings and core. As you perform your lunges one side at a time, the core (ie your back and abdominal musculature) must work to keep you upright and balanced as you move your hips and knees up and down. This is the easiest lunge. Alternating each leg one after the other requires more stability and awareness of foot position as you swap sides; similarly with walking lunges.  

Set up:

  • Start in a step stance position with your right foot in front, left foot behind, with reasonable distance between the front and back feet.
  • Feet should be hip width apart, with the centre of both knees aligned with the 2nd toe of each foot,
  • Lift the heel on the back foot,
  • Put weight into the front heel,
  • Shoulders should be aligned (vertically) with hips,
  • Lumbar spine neutral.
basic lunge- front view


  1. Bend both knees and lower hips and back knee towards the floor,
  2. Try to keep your shoulders, hips and back knee aligned and your front shin vertical, ie knee over ankle,
  3. hips should stay level (horizontally)
  4. Lower in the range that is comfortable for you. You should feel the quads (front of the thigh) working on the back leg and your glutes (or bottom) working on the back leg.
  5. Push back up through your front heel to your starting position.
  6. Repeat x 10-15.
  7. swap the legs over, repeat 1-5 as above.
  8. Do 2 to 3 sets each leg.
basic lunge


  • try not to  let your front knee move past your toes- otherwise you may find that your knee is uncomfortable,
  • also try to keep rear knee pointing straight down to the floor and not moving out to the side,
  • hands on your hips can help you be aware of your hip alignment,

Make it Harder:

  • add in weights, performing bicep curls or forward lifts, lateral raises etc
  • add in one weight only into the opposite hand- this will recruit your core muscles more as you will be a little more unbalanced with a single weight.
  • try taking a step back and performing the lunge,
  • try sideways step and lunging,
  • walking lunges,
  • lunges with a roller