The side lunge is uncommon, especially among bodybuilders and strength athletes, and often seen as a feminine exercise. The side lunge will not only recruit the same muscles as the front lunge, but also will greatly stimulate the hip adductor muscles. The development of the hip adductors is important for injury prevention, and also could aid in other lifts such as the squat, where many of these smaller hip muscles play an important stabilisation role.
The side lunge is an awkward exercise at first, and a movement you will likely not be able to shift much weight on. It may be more fruitful to perform the movement without any resistance, just using your bodyweight, at first to gain confidence and balance in the movement.
Performing side lunges
When training for muscular size it is often best to train in a rep range of 6-12 repetitions, although there is often much debate on the optimal rep range. It would be advisable to experiment with different ranges to see which suits you.
- If using a rack, place barbell on squat rack pins, which are set at a suitable height for you to dismount and re-rack safely.
- Load bar with correct weight. Put on safety collars.
- Position barbell on back of shoulders, taking a wide grasp on the bar.
- Dismount barbell carefully, taking a few steps backwards.
- If not using a rack, clean bar off floor and set in position on shoulders.
- Lunge first foot 45° forward (see comments), keeping back straight and torso erect throughout execution.
- Land on heel first then let rest of foot make contact with floor, in a slow controlled action.
- Keeping back straight, lunge down by flexing the knee and hip until front thigh is close to parallel to the floor and the knee of the following leg is close to the floor.
- Return to standing position by forcefully extending the knee and hip of the front leg, keeping good body posture throughout.
- Repeat in same manner for the other leg.
- Repeat for repetitions.
Side lunges courtesy of Fitness Uncovered - Bodybuilding & Fitness
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