Lateral Lunges: How To Do Them And Benefits

The lateral lunge is a great lower body exercise that stimulates and targets the upper glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. The lateral lunge also targets the adductors and abductors, for a must-have lunge variation in your leg-day training split. We’re going to talk more about lateral lunges, how to do them, and the benefits of adding this lunge variation to your workout.

What Are Lateral Lunges 

The lateral lunge is a functional strength training movement and lunge variation, that shifts the targeted muscle stimulation to your upper glutes, and the adductors and abductors, also known as the inner and outer thighs. Lateral lunges can create more power, build more muscle mass and improve overall functional strength in your lower body, while building better core stability and strength. 

Lateral Lunge Muscles Worked

The lateral lunge works many muscles, similar to the traditional walking lunge. Lateral lunge works the adductors, abductors, hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes, especially the gluteus medius, and upper gluteus maximus.

Lateral Lunge Benefits

1. Mobility 

When you lean into your heels and your side, you will contract your adductors, increasing and enhancing your hip mobility. Better hip mobility will translate into better and more powerful compound lifts that specifically rely on your hips, such as the deadlift, Romanian deadlift, snatch, squat, and power clean. Your hips are what drives the power to lift a barbell, and with better mobility, you’ll be able to get under the barbell and lift heavier.  Hip mobility will also benefit movements, incorporated in yoga, as well as Pilates, providing better hip hinge movement, core stability, and functional strength.

2. Functional Strength

Functional strength is mimicked in everyday movement patters, such as running, jumping, sprinting, or remedial activates, such as carrying groceries, picking up your kids, or waling up a flight of stairs.  Lateral lunges benefit your muscles in a different way, than traditional lunges, stimulating muscles to benefit functional activities, with less chances of injury.

3. Flexibility

The lateral lunge requires agility as well as flexibility in your hips and ankles. As you lean into the lunge, your adductors and abductors, will stretch, improving flexibility as well as balance and posture.

How To Lateral Lunge

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Take a big step to the side with your left leg, then bend your left knee.
  • Push your hips back and lower, pushing your weight into the side of your foot and heel. until your left knee is bent 90 degrees.
  • This should take around two seconds. Push back to start.
  • In this movement, your torso may lean forwards as step to the side – that’s fine, as long as you maintain a flat lower back.
  • Exhale, then reverse the movement and stand tall.
  • Repeat for the prescribed number of reps.

Lateral Lunge: Takeaway

If you want to improve your leg day training, built your glues, and improve hip mobility, the lateral lunge is an amazing accessory lunge variation you can easily add into your training. 


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