How to Do Barbell Lunges Properly

Barbell lunges is an effective exercise that will strengthen and build your lower body muscles.

There are many variations to this exercise so if wish to challenge yourself and probably get a better form, you may want to explore some of these modifications that we will discuss later.

Once you have your barbell and a few light weights, here is how you do it;

  • First, stand straight with your feet slightly spread apart. Take
  • the barbell and hold it wide enough behind your shoulders on your upper back as in doing barbell squats. This is the initial barbell lunges position.
  • With one leg, take a stride forward and move in that motion until your thigh is parallel to the ground while your back leg knee is a few inches to the ground.
  • Push yourself up and stretch back your leg to the initial position as you engage your core. Repeat the move with your other leg.

It is imperative to note that barbell lunges require a good balance so if you are a beginner, you might want to start with just enough weight that you can manage.


Barbell lunges is a lower body exercise that helps in working the quads, hamstring, and glutes.

It is a popular leg by leg strength exercise that strengthens your core including your abs and it also improves your hip mobility.


Since this exercise requires you to balance on one leg as you hold a barbell behind your upper back, it greatly improves your stability and balance.

Barbell lunges engage your core thereby strengthening your hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, and calves.

Barbell lunges is an ideal exercise for spinal deloading. Spinal deloading or decompression involves controlled stretches and movements with brief holds of 5-8 seconds.

Barbell lunges with lightweights loaded can help to relieve the pressure off the lumbar spine thereby reducing the pain experienced in your lower back.

If you train ever so frequently, you are likely to experience lower-back pain at some point and before you get to that point, incorporate barbell lunges in your workouts.

Barbell lunges help in improving your posture and agility so that you can react quickly and avoid injuries in some situations.


As a best practice in the fitness world, you should explore the different variations of your preferred workouts in order to gain better results.

Before you pick an alternative to barbell lunges, be sure that it works out the intended muscles. Here are some of the best alternatives that work the lower body muscles.


Barbell squats are a popular exercise and it is very effective since it works out different muscle groups in the lower body.

The barbell squats just as lunges, does well in working your quadriceps and in strengthening your glutes, calves, and hamstrings.

The squat also helps in strengthening your core and toning your lower body as in getting a better shape.


The leg press is another popular exercise that can be a good alternative to barbell lunges since it majors in working the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.

Unlike lunges and squats, you don’t need to carry any weight, you only need the leg press equipment.

The leg press is built in such a way that you lie on your back and push suspended weights in an elevated angle on the leg press.

The motion and muscles involved in working out with a leg press are similar to lunges.


Step-ups is simple exercise that you already do even in your daily activities and routine. Just as the name, step-ups involves climbing up and down on an elevated platform step by step.

As opposed to the step-up exercises that you do in your daily activities, here you do it deliberately and consciously.

For step-ups you’ll need a ramp or a fitness step that you’ll step on to up and down and some dumbbells.

Apart from working your quads, it helps to distribute strength on both legs and this improves your stability.


Dumbbell lunges fit well a barbell lunges alternative because they work out the same muscle group.

The only difference is that you use a pair of dumbbells and instead of holding them behind your back as in barbell lunges, you freely hold them on your sides before you proceed with the lunge.


To avoid unnecessary pain and even prolonged injuries in some cases, the precaution that you need to take before you embark on any exercise states that: Know what to do and what not to do. Here are some of the mistakes that you should avoid before you commence on barbell lunges workout.

When you hold the barbell behind your back, do not let it press hard on your spine. You ought to support the barbell in such a way that it  lies squarely on your upper back.

You should not bend your back, maintain an upright posture with your chin up and your chest popped out.

Let your movements and motion be slow since barbell lunges require a lot of stability so don’t be in a hurry! Take it slow.

When you take a step forward, do not let your knee extend over your toes. Your knee should be at a right angle and your thigh parallel to the ground.

As you descend, don’t crush your back knee on the ground let it be suspended a few inches above the ground.

As you descend into the lunge, initiate the move from your hips and not just jut your knee forward and back.

If you are in doubt of your fitness condition you should consult with an expert before you start the exercise.