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Rear Lunge Exercise (Dumbbell) 2023

The rear lunge, also known as the reverse lunge, is a powerful lower-body exercise targeting the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core abdominal muscles.

This exercise requires you to step backward and sink into a lunge position. Quite different from the basic lunge, this exercise puts less strain on your knees and has more effects on your legs.

A lunge is a simple movement designed to increase your fitness, strength, endurance, and flexibility.

The rear lunge is an effective exercise for functional training as it requires balance, coordination, and strength.

There are three most common lunges:

  • Forward lunges
  • Dumbbell lunges
  • Rear lunges

In the rear exercise, you must step back with one leg and repeat 2-3 times, depending on your frequency.

  • The rear lunge is one of the most effective exercises for people who want to lose weight and strengthen their abs.

Army PRT Rear Lunge Exercise

Army Rear Lunge Exercise
Army Rear Lunge Exercise


  • The rear lunge is the second exercise in the preparation drill exercises.
  • This exercise promotes hip and leg strength and balance flexibility, thereby preparing soldiers for taking cover and assuming kneeling firing positions.

Starting Position: 

  • The starting position for the rear lunge exercise is the straddle stance with the hands on hips.


  • SLOW


  • On Count One:
    • Keeping hands on hips, take an exaggerated step backward with the left leg, touching down with the ball of the foot placed directly back from the starting position.
    • The heel should be off the ground, and a stretch should be felt in the front of the left hip and thigh. 
    • If not, allow the body to continue to lower to increase flexibility.
  • On Count Two: Return to the starting position, maintaining the same distance between the feet as used in the straddle stance.
  • On Count Three: Repeat count one with the right leg.
  • On Count Four: Return to the starting position.

Check Points:

  • Keep your back straight by keeping your abdominal muscles tight throughout the motion.
  • After your foot touches down, allow your body to continue to lower, promoting hip and trunk flexibility.
  • Step straight to the rear on counts 1 and 3, keeping the feet directed forward. When viewed from the front, the feet maintain their distance apart at the start and end of counts 1 and 3.
  • Keep your rear leg straight as possible but not locked, and your rear heel should be off the ground.


  • You should perform the rear lunge exercise at a slow cadence. 
  • On counts 1 and 3, move into position in a slow, controlled manner. 
  • If the cadence is too fast, it won’t be easy to go through a full range of motion.

Muscles Worked

The following muscles are worked during rear lunges:


  • These are the muscles at the front of your thighs.
  • The Quads help you move upward during the rear lunge.


  • These are the muscles at the back of your thigh.
  • The Hamstrings will help you with hip extension and knee flexion during the lunge exercise.


  • The Glutes are the muscles that make up the buttocks; they include the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. 
  • Glutes are important for hip extensions during the lunge workout. 
  • They will also help you push back up to the starting position, the straddle stance, with the hands-on-hips.

Core Muscles

  • These are muscles deep within your abdominals and back, attaching to the spine or pelvis.
  • Cores Muscles (abs and lower back muscles) help with stability and balance throughout the rear lunge workout.

Rear Lunge Variations

The following are the variations of the rear lunge exercise:

Weighted Rear Lunge

  • To do the weighted variation exercise, you will hold two dumbbells on either side or a barbell to increase the intensity of the workout.

Rear Lunge with a Twist

  • In this variation, you will twist your torso while in the lunge position, increasing intensity as this will engage your obliques.

Walking Rear Lunges

  • In the walking rear lunge, you step the back foot forward into the next lunge instead of stepping back to the starting position. 
  • Be careful, as this exercise requires more balance and coordination.


Benefits of Rear Lunge Workouts

The following are the benefits of the rear lunge workout exercise:

Balance and Coordination

  • The rear lunge workout is a unilateral exercise that helps improve balance and coordination, essential for daily activities such as walking, running, and jumping.

Muscle Development

  • The rear lunge exercise effectively targets multiple muscle groups, such as the core, glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps, promoting muscle development and strength.


  • When you move into the lunge position, you will naturally stretch the hip flexors muscles, which are important for flexibility for your body.

Lower Body Strength

  • Rear lunges are effective at building muscles and strength in your lower body, significantly improving your performance in other workout exercises such as squats or lifting weights. 

Low Impact

  • Rear lunges are less stressful on the knees than forward lunges, making them suitable for people with knee issues.

Ways to Do Rear Lunge Exercises

There are several ways to perform rear lunges with different intensities.

  • Practice: Practice rear lunges on both sides while standing still; ten repetitions per set and two sets at a time is a good deal, and if you want more challenge, increase to 20–30 reps depending on your weight.
  • Dumbbells: You can add dumbbells to your exercise routine for more challenges. At first, you should support yourself with one hand for balance until your core and lower body become tenser.
  • Bench: Another excellent option is to place your back foot on a bench and lunge your leg onto a high surface. This is an advanced exercise, so you are mastering the easy reverse lunge above.

Rear Lunges Conclusion

The rear lunge exercise is one of the most effective workouts when looking to improve your lower body’s strength.

Note: Learn the proper form to avoid getting injured.

There are many other lunging exercises that you can add to your workout schedule, including moving forward, backward, laterally, and jumping.

Rear lunges are practical and easy for both beginners and advanced practitioners. They are considered one of the best exercises to help you reduce your body fat and tone your abs.

The move requires balance, coordination, and strength, making it an excellent choice for functional training.

George N.