Barbell lunge

Exercise details

  • Target muscles: Quadriceps (Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Intermedius, Vastus Medialis, Rectus Femoris)
  • Synergists: Gluteus Maximus, Adductor Magnus, Soleus
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  1. Stand holding a barbell on the back of your shoulders.


  1. Exhale as you take a large step (lunge) forward with one leg, landing on your heel first and then lowering your forefoot.
  2. At the same time, keeping your torso upright, lower your body until the knee of your supporting leg almost touches the floor.
  3. Inhale as you drive back up with your heel and step back into the starting position.
  4. Repeat with your other leg.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your torso upright and your head facing forward.
  • Keep your feet and knees pointing forward.
  • Practice without a barbell to get used to the movement. Then, practice with dumbbells, before graduating to a plateless barbell. Add plates when ready.
  • The larger the lunge, the more emphasis you will place on your gluteus maximus instead of your quadriceps.
  • The barbell lunge is a brilliant exercise that helps you to strengthen your lunge, which is a primal movement pattern of your body. Use the exercise to develop balance, coordination, and the unilateral (one-sided) functional strength of your legs, which is important for athletic performance and overall fitness.

Barbell lunge video



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