The primary muscles stressed in this movement are the muscles in your upper leg (hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes). The secondary muscles stressed are your core abdominal muscles.

Starting Position

With the bar centered on your trapezius, hold the bar a little further than shoulder-width apart. While keeping your back straight, step back from the rack until you are approximately three to four feet away.


Take a longer than normal step forward with your right foot. Take two to three seconds to lower your body down until your right calf is perpendicular to the floor and the knee of your left leg lightly touches the floor approximately four to six inches behind your right heel. Drive backward off the right heel, returning to the starting position. Repeat with the left foot stepping forward.

Training Tips

  • Keep your back as straight as possible throughout the entire exercise.
  • Be sure to keep your knee over your heel on the forward leg.
  • A more advanced version is to take a longer stride forward so your knee touches six to eight inches behind your right heel.


  • A more advanced version of this exercise would be to step up on a box eight to ten inches high. This causes a deeper range of motion.
  • Instead of using the straight bar, you can hold dumbbells at your side (perform the exercise as stated above).
  • Free form lunges can be performed using only your body weight for resistance (perform the exercise as stated above).

Warning Tips

  • You must keep your back straight throughout the entire movement. Failure to do so can result in serious injury to your back.
  • Do not lower your body any faster than two to three seconds. You must be in control at all times. The faster you perform this movement, the less control you will have which in turn will increase your risk of injury.

Robert Bovee Certified Master PPT, RTS, ETS, FTS

As one of the most successful Professional Personal Trainers and Exercise/Fitness Therapists in the United States, Robert continues to remain at the forefront of the industry by providing his clients with a thorough education and the tools to implement that education. By improving his client’s physical health, strength, endurance, cardiovascular fitness and nutritional habits, he is able to motivate them to lead longer, happier and more productive lives. Find out more about Robert and his personal training career and services, here.


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