Barbell side lunge exercise

Barbell side lunge

Exercise details

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

Starting position

  1. Place a barbell on the back of your shoulders. You can either dismount the barbell from a high rack or clean it from the floor.


  1. Keeping your body upright, inhale as you take a large step (lunge) to one side and lower your body by flexing your hip and knee. Keep your back leg straight.
  2. Exhale as you push yourself back up to the starting position.
  3. Repeat the lunge with your opposite leg.
  4. Keep repeating the lunge and alternating the leg with which you lead.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your torso upright, your head up, and your leading foot and knee pointing in the same direction.
  • When you lunge, make sure to land on your heel first and then lower your forefoot.
  • Instead of alternating your legs, you can, of course, complete all repetitions for one leg before completing the repetitions for the other leg.
  • Before trying the barbell side lunge, master balance using the dumbbell side lunge.
  • Although the quadriceps are always the target, large lunges place more emphasis on your gluteus maximus, whereas short lunges place more emphasis on your quadriceps.
  • The barbell side lunge is great for developing unilateral lower-body strength, coordination, and balance.
  • See also the barbell lunge and the barbell overhead lunge.

Barbell side lunge video


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