Dumbbell rear lunge

Exercise details

  • Target muscles: Gluteus Maximus, Quadriceps (Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis, Vastus Intermedius, Rectus Femoris)
  • Synergists: Adductor Magnus, Soleus
  • Dynamic stabilizers (not highlighted): Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  1. Holding a pair of dumbbells by your sides, stand up straight.


  • Keeping your torso upright, inhale as you take a large step backward with one leg and plant your forefoot behind you. As you do so, flex the knee and hip of your front leg to allow yourself to descend into a kneeling position. However, do not allow your rear knee to make contact with the floor.
  • Exhale as you get back up into the starting position by extending the knee and hip of your front leg and pushing off with your rear leg.
  • Repeat the movement with your opposite leg.
  • Keep alternating the leg with which your lunge backward.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your head up, your torso upright, and the dumbbells by your sides.
  • Keep your feet and knees pointing in the same direction.
  • Do not allow the knee of your front leg to move in front of your toes as you kneel.
  • A small lunge places emphasis on your quadriceps, whereas a large lunge places emphasis on your gluteus maximus.
  • The dumbbell reverse lunge is great for developing balance, coordination, and unilateral lower-body strength. Start light until you learn balance.

Dumbbell rear lunge video



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