How to Do Reverse Lunges: A Hinge Health Guide

Learn how to do reverse lunges to improve lower body strength, flexibility and balance, plus modifications to make this exercise easier or harder.

Published Date: Dec 5, 2023
reverse-lunge

How to Do Reverse Lunges: A Hinge Health Guide

Learn how to do reverse lunges to improve lower body strength, flexibility and balance, plus modifications to make this exercise easier or harder.

Published Date: Dec 5, 2023
reverse-lunge

How to Do Reverse Lunges: A Hinge Health Guide

Learn how to do reverse lunges to improve lower body strength, flexibility and balance, plus modifications to make this exercise easier or harder.

Published Date: Dec 5, 2023
reverse-lunge

How to Do Reverse Lunges: A Hinge Health Guide

Learn how to do reverse lunges to improve lower body strength, flexibility and balance, plus modifications to make this exercise easier or harder.

Published Date: Dec 5, 2023
reverse-lunge
Table of Contents

Reverse lunges are ideal for anyone looking to build strength and mobility in their knees, thighs, and hips for activities like hiking and tennis, while at the same time improving balance. Plus, they can place a little less stress on your joints than a traditional lunge. Sound like a good exercise for you? Here’s what to know about reverse lunges.

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What Is a Reverse Lunge?

There are lots of different types of lunges. You might be familiar with a regular lunge, where you step one foot forward and bend your knees, lowering your hips toward the floor. Reverse lunges are, well, the reverse of that: You step one foot back behind you and lower down. They target your muscles and balance in a slightly different way.

What Muscles Do Reverse Lunges Work? 

  • Core. The stepping motion — and balance — that this move requires engages your ab and back muscles (aka your core) to keep you stable.

  • Gluteal muscles. The muscles in your glutes allow you to extend, rotate, and stabilize your leg at the hip joint. 

  • Quadriceps. Your quads are a group of muscles on the front of your leg that are important for doing movements such as walking, kicking, and jumping.

  • Hamstrings. This group of three muscles on the back of your leg that help you extend your hip and flex your knee. The hamstrings work with your quads when you do activities like climbing steps, hiking, and taking your daily stroll around the neighborhood.

  • Calves. These lower leg muscles support and stabilize your body while standing and power your body forward then you move.

Benefits of Reverse Lunges

  • Better balance. Lunges are a lower body unilateral exercise, meaning that they work one side of your body at a time. Doing single-leg moves like this fires muscles that stabilize your body, which promotes balance and coordination and may reduce the risk of falls and injury.

  • Improved mobility. Reverse lunges mimic the way your body naturally moves doing activities like walking up and down stairs.

  • Increased joint stability. Working the muscles in your lower body supports the joints in your ankles, knees, and hips.   

  • A stronger core. There’s good evidence that a strong core helps you manage back pain, and may even prevent future pain flare-ups.

Reverse Lunges: Exercises and Modifications 

The information contained in these videos is intended to be used for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice or treatment for any specific condition. Hinge Health is not your healthcare provider and is not responsible for any injury sustained or exacerbated by your use of or participation in these exercises. Please consult with your healthcare provider with any questions you may have about your medical condition or treatment.

To do reverse lunges:

  • Stand with your feet a comfortable distance apart, and your hands at your side or on your hips.

  • Step one leg back, landing on the ball of your foot, as you bend your front knee about 90 degrees. Keep your weight mostly in your front leg, and make sure your front knee is aligned directly over your ankle (try not to let it jut out past your toes). 

  • Focus on your balance as you hold this lunge position.

  • Then push through your front foot as you straighten your legs and return to standing.

  • Repeat on the opposite side.

  • As you do each rep, you might feel your thigh, leg, and hip muscles working.

Everyone is different, which is why you may need to modify this exercise to meet your needs. 

Reverse Lunges Modifications

Reverse Lunges Modifications

Reverse Lunges Modifications

Reverse Lunges Modifications

To make reverse lunges easier:  

  • Place your hand on something sturdy, like a table or countertop, to support your balance. Then use something that will slide, like a towel, under your back foot to help it glide behind you instead of taking a step.

To make reverse lunges harder: 

  • Bend more deeply through your front knee as you come into the lunge position. You should aim to bring your back knee as close to the floor as you are able during the exercise. 

How Hinge Health Can Help You 

If you have joint or muscle pain that makes it hard to move, you can get the relief you’ve been looking for with Hinge Health’s online exercise therapy program. 

The best part: You don’t have to leave your home because our program is digital. That means you can easily get the care you need through our app, when and where it works for you.  

Through our program, you’ll have access to therapeutic exercises and stretches for your condition. Additionally, you’ll have a personal care team to guide, support, and tailor our program to you. 

See if you qualify for Hinge Health and confirm free coverage through your employer or benefit plan here.

This article and its contents are provided for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice or professional services specific to you or your medical condition.

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References

  1. Guler, Ozkan, et al. (2021). Effects of Functional Strength Training on Functional Movement and Balance in Middle-Aged Adults. Sustainability, vol. 13, no. 3, p. 1074. doi:10.3390/su13031074

  2. Marcori, A. J., Monteiro, P. H. M., Oliveira, J. A., Doumas, M., & Teixeira, L. A. (2022). Single Leg Balance Training: A Systematic Review. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 129(2), 232–252. doi:10.1177/00315125211070104

  3. Daun F, Kibele A. Different Strength Declines in Leg Primary Movers Versus Stabilizers Across Age — Implications For The Risk of Falls in Older Adults? (2019). PLoS One,14(3):e0213361. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0213361