Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBarbell
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush (Unilateral)
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Adductors, Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Upper Back
Target Muscle Group


Quads Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Barbell Lateral Lunge Overview

The barbell lateral lunge is a leg exercise used to build the quads, glutes, and hamstrings.

The barbell lateral lunge is a variation of the barbell lunge that people typically perform when they want a little more glute involvement with the movement pattern.

The barbell lateral lunge is an exercise that takes place in the frontal plane, unlike the majority of exercises. Therefore, it is a good exercise to use to challenge your muscles in a way they are not used to.

Barbell Lateral Lunge Instructions

  1. Set up with your feet shoulder width apart and a barbell resting across your traps.
  2. Step laterally with your trail leg extended and descend until the thigh is parallel with the floor.
  3. Drive through the weight bearing leg and extend the knee as you push back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Barbell Lateral Lunge Tips

  1. Lateral lunges are a more advanced progression and should only be utilized once one has the requisite hip and core stability. In general, a proper single leg progression scheme might look like this:
    • Step Up
    • Split Squat > Front foot elevated
    • Reverse Lunge > Front foot elevated
    • Single Leg Squat to Bench
    • Lateral Lunge
    • Bulgarian/Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat (RFESS)
    • Single Leg Squat From Bench
    • Walking Lunge
    • Forward Lunge
    • Single Leg Skater Squat
    • Pistol Squat
  2. Don’t rush the progression scheme, earn the right to use every exercise and don’t neglect any of them.
    • When you go to push back to the starting position, fight the urge to lead the movement with your shoulders by hyperextending at your spine. Instead, look to drive the movement via force from your lower body.
    • Descend slowly and look to get a good stretch through your groin (adductor).
    • Exhale as you descend into the movement and keep the feet flat with the toes pointing straight ahead.
    • When first learning the movements, I would recommend you start with your feet already apart and then slowly move into each hip rather than taking a step out as this will take the deceleration component out of the movement.