The reverse lunge is a useful variation of the traditional forward lunge. This exercise will help you improve balance and strength for a greater lower body power. Here is how you should perform it.
The reverse lunge is a useful variation of the traditional forward lunge.
Often regarded as a lower body exercise, lunging also requires a high level of balance and control. Therefore, this exercise demands more on the core muscles – mainly when performed with more than just your bodyweight.
Stand with the feet hip-width apart, arms by your side. Engage the core slightly and set the shoulders.
Keeping the core engaged, bend the front leg and take a small step back. Maintain your balance as you slowly drop the back knee to the floor. Maintain balance as you return to standing.
Repeat on the same side, or alternately for reps or time.
The significant difference between the forward and reverse lunges is body movement. With the reverse lunge, there is no movement of the upper body — it stays in one position as the leg steps backs. In this way, the body’s centre of mass remains over the front foot. This difference reduces the balance requirement and will make the exercise feel ‘easier’. With this in mind, the reverse lunge can be a good starting point before progressing to the forward lunge.
Because the upper body stays over the foot, it is also a great way to reinforce postural control during single-leg movements. In this regard, many experts consider the reverse lunge as an essential injury rehabilitation exercise. For example, in the case of knee rehab, the reverse lunge will result in less shearing force in the knee joint, allowing the patient to develop strength without compromising joint health effectively.
In any case, good control of posture (loaded and unloaded) should be a high priority in any gym program. This can begin with the reverse lunge, before progressing to other variations including the forward and side lunge. Once you can perform the bodyweight lunging, the movement can be further loaded using free weights.