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How To Do A Lateral Lunge? Form, Mistakes, Variations

lateral-lunge

Lateral lunge is a popular exercise with different variations. It adds a bit of spice to your workout routine and makes you break a sweat. It is excellent for your lower body and helps you stabilize your core whilst providing plenty of mobility.

Lateral lunge may be a bit more difficult than doing a regular squat but it comes with a myriad of benefits from targeting your glutes, inner thighs, lower back muscles, and so on.

This exercise can be used for both strength training and weight loss depending on your fitness needs and can be easily done at home without any equipment.

How To Do a Lateral Lunge?

Now that we have discussed what a lateral lunge is, here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it.

To do this exercise properly, you must have a proper form. Choose your sets with repetitions entirely based on your flexibility, strength, and mobility.  Try to do three sets with ten repetitions in each set.

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Step-By-Step

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart with your knees slightly bent. Pull your shoulders back, squeeze in your tummy and make sure your neck and head are in a neutral position. Tuck your chin in throughout the exercise.
  • Plant your feet firmly to the ground and distribute your weight evenly.
  • Put your hands on either side of your hips, or clasp them together in front of your face. Engage your core, and position your shoulders and hips.
  • Maintain a neutral spine with your chest upright and slowly move your leg to the left side, shifting your body over the left leg.
  • Once your left leg reaches the ground, bend your knees and hips in a sitting position as if there is an invisible chair behind you. Make sure your back is upright, core engaged and chin tucked. Doing so will prevent you from getting injured
  • Your knee should not go over your foot
  • As you get into a lunge position, your upper body should move with your leg to the side and your right leg should be in the same position
  • Pause in the same position for a moment and slowly come back up straight. As you move your body back up, make sure your chest is upright, tighten your glute, and quad, and then exhale.
  • Switch sides and then repeat

 

Which Muscles Does a Lateral Lunge Target?

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 Lateral lunge is an exercise useful for athletes who have to engage in side-to-side movements such as tennis, basketball, football, and baseball. However, it can also be done by people who want to make their lower muscles stronger.

Here are the muscles it targets.

Glutes

This workout targets your glutes. As you go low and push your hips back your glutes work extra hard.

Quads

Your quads are located in front of your thighs and are what extend your knees. Once you go down into a lunge position, you should feel a burn in your quads.

Hamstrings

Hamstrings are the muscles located at the back of your thighs and control your hip leading down to your leg.

Adductors

Adductors are your inner thighs. The further down your lunge, the more pull you’ll feel on both your legs.

Abductors

Abductors are your outer thighs, just like adductors the further down you lunge the more you’ll feel it.

Core

It engages your core and back muscles. It also ensures you don’t get injured while doing lunges.

What Is Lateral Lunge Good For?

Lateral lunge is an excellent exercise to help you develop stability, strength, and balance. It helps your body with different movements that your body normally wouldn’t engage in. Here are some benefits of doing this workout.

Strength

 

Functionality and strength go hand-in-hand when it comes to doing this exercise. It works mostly on all of your lower body muscles.  Incorporating it into your exercise routine will help you go about your days with ease with lesser chances of getting injured.

Mobility

This exercise is perfect for mobility. If you are a runner, you can do this to stretch your muscles. It helps loosen the lower back, groin, and hips.

Flexibility

As you go down into a lunge, your inner and outer thighs are being stretched a good amount improving your overall flexibility. The further down you go, the more you’ll stretch.

Common mistakes

Here are a few common mistakes you should avoid when doing a lateral lunge.

Caved in Knees

Make sure your knee doesn’t collapse as you go down into a lunge. It can cause pain and pressure on your muscles and joints.

Slouched Back

Slouching your back while doing this exercise can make you susceptible to injury to your back and knees. That’s why always straighten your back when doing a lunge.

Narrow Stance

When the distance between your feet is too narrow, your knee could travel past your foot resulting in knee pain. That’s why you must ensure your feet are hip-width apart and when you take the stance to go down on a lunge, your feet have to be parallel.

Variations

Even though this exercise activates most of your lower body muscles, it can get a bit monotonous. To change things up you can try the two variations of a lateral lunge mentioned below:

Lateral Lunge With Hops

lateral-lunge

 

  • Stand in a starting position, extend your left leg to the side
  • Bend down into a lunge
  • Come back up to the starting position and then hop, extending your right leg to the right side
  • Come back to the standing position and repeat

Curtsy Lunge

  • Stand at a starting position, bend your knees and slowly push your left leg to the back and bend your knee
  • Come back up again at the standing position and repeat with the left leg

Key Takeaway

It doesn’t matter whether you are a veteran gymgoer, or a beginner, a lateral lunge is a great exercise. It is easy and effective resulting in more mobility and stronger hamstrings, glutes, and quadriceps.

For lower body workouts read this blog.

Incorporate this exercise into your daily exercise sessions for a robust workout that helps you become strong and fit.

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