The Lunge: A Super Exercise

The lunge is a lower body compound movement that targets hip, knee, and ankle joints, while improving trunk stability in non-symmetrical positions. This is a great exercise to develop strength, balance, and endurance, and there are numerous progressions and variations to this exercise. 

Due to the variability in anatomical differences, mobility restrictions, and muscle flexibility, this exercise may look different from person to person. Therefore, it is important to use this resource as a general guide; however, a physiotherapist will be able to ensure the exercise is properly and safely executed. 

How to do the Exercise 

  • Starting Position:Stand with feet together spaced hip distance apart. Hands may be placed on hips or arms outstretched for balance.
  • Action: With one foot, take a large step forward. Lower your back knee towards the floor while bending the front knee up until a 90° bend is achieved. Keep your trunk upright during the movement. Return to starting position, repeat on other side. 


Common Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid bending front knee too far over toes. It is important to maintain an even distribution of weight between both legs 


Modifications and Progressions

  • Please refer to your physiotherapist if you are unsure of any aspect of the exercise or are unable to successfully perform the exercise 
  • If you do not feel well balanced during the exercise, shorten the length of your step. Gradually, you may increase the size of the step forward you take
  • Options to increase the difficulty of the exercise:  
    • Hold weights to increase intensity of exercise 
    • Walk forward while doing the lunges 
    • Jump from left lunge position into right lunge position
    • Perform lunge backwards 



Based on your individual goals, the parameters for exercise can vary significantly. The number of sets, repetitions and tempo are among a number of variables that can be modified in order to optimize your programming. Whether you are returning from injury, looking to get stronger, or improving your sport performance, speak to your physiotherapist to establish your training goals.