How to Do The Barbell Reverse Lunge Properly

The barbell reverse lunge is an exercise that engages more than one muscle within the lower body.

However, its primary targets are the glutes and leg muscles.

It is also important to note that it’s a high impact exercise and will therefore require your fitness levels to be a tad higher than the average persons

WHAT TO DO:

  • Prop the barbell on the back of your shoulders, and hold it with your hands in a comfortable position.
  • Stand tall with your feet together. Keep your core engaged, chest open, and eyes looking straight ahead.
  • Step back with the right leg, bending the knee to approximately 90 degrees. This will bring the front knee to a 90-degree bend as well.
  • Be sure to keep the chest up and open, with the core completely engaged.
  • Using the left leg to produce the force, stand up and bring the right leg back to the original standing position.
  • Don’t lean forward, but think about the top of your head going straight up to the ceiling. This will force your glutes, quads and core to work.
  • Repeat all repetitions on the right leg, and then switch to the left leg.
  • Do four to six leg repetitions per leg

WHAT MUSCLES DO THE BARBELL REVERSE LUNGE WORK?

HAMSTRINGS

The hamstring is heavily involved in helping successfully complete certain movements when doing the barbell reverse lunge.

First, it acts as a hypothetical coaster by holding the weight from the barbell as you put it down.

It also helps you stretch your hip to the right levels while doing the lunges. As such, the hamstring ends up getting heavily worked, often in conjunction with the glutes and quads.

GLUTEALS

The glutes are involved every time you stretch because they are responsible for providing balance in conjunction with your hips as you move your legs outside your central body line.

QUADRICEPS

Extending a flexed knee is quite a complicated sequence when it comes to how muscles work to make this movement possible.

For instance, the quadriceps are most engaged when you take a shorter step back and less engaged when you take a longer step back.

This is because when you step back longer you engage the hip which derives support from the glutes whilst shorter steps engage the knees which derive support from the knees.

BARBELL REVERSE LUNGE BENEFITS

WELL SCULPTED LEGS AND GLUTES

The primary target of the barbell reverse lunge is the leg and glutes. This is facilitated by the movements involved in the exercise i.e., the long steps back.

The more reps you do the stronger the target areas get. This is true for both weighted and regular reverse lunges.

However, the extra tension generated by the weight of the barbell pushes these areas to high levels of strain that in the end develops elite levels of lower body strength.

IMPROVED BALANCE

The barbell reverse lunge intentionally isolates one leg in order to trigger the stabilising muscles within the said leg.

This is because both your legs normally rely on each other for stability.

However, when you throw a spanner in the works and force them to work alone by doing the barbell reverse lunge, you train stability in a less than the stable environment.

This is because the stabilising muscles in the legs are stabilised thus bettering your stability even in daily activities

ALTERNATIVES TO THE BARBELL REVERSE LUNGE

BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT

The Bulgarian split squat is tailored for the increase in power and size.

The exercise involves a variant of the lunge whereby you put the back of your leg on a bench before breaking into lunges.

This ends up working the glutes and hamstrings.

TRX LUNGE

Much like the barbell reverse lunge, this exercise focuses a lot on stability.

When doing the exercise, the lifter places their back leg in the stirrup, and slowly descends into a lunge, placing the large majority of the loading demands on their lead leg.

The introduction of the TRX bands is used to increase the challenge level of the exercise.

WALKING LUNGE

According to many, the walking lunge is what you graduate to after mastering the barbell reverse lunge

This is because it engages most of the same muscle groups in the same manner.

It is however a greater challenge because it requires you to do this and incorporate coordinated movement into the routine.

As such, it trains stability and builds lower body strength at a higher level.

BARBELL REVERSE LUNGE MISTAKES TO AVOID

LACK OF TENSION

The fact that you’re bent with a considerably large amount of weight tied to you should be reason enough to engage your core and lock your upper body.

If you step back into a lunge without having the required amount of tension, it can lead to serious back injuries.

RAISED BACK KNEE

In order to achieve maximum strain while doing this exercise, your knee needs to go through the full motion and that includes having the knee touch the ground.

A raised knee means you prevent full leg development while doing the exercise.

PUSHING THROUGH THE BALLS OF YOUR FEET

Many inexperienced lifters push through the balls of their feet. Often, their heels also come off the ground.

If you are putting all that force into the balls of your feet with lunges, you are going to add unnecessary strain to your knees.

To avoid stressing your knees, you should push through your heels and midfoot. Applying the force through your heel and midfoot allows your muscles to do the work instead of your joints.

You should strive to ease your workload because the goal of lifting weights is not to put your joints and tendons in compromising positions.

The goal is to get stronger and more muscular. You have to have be in great form to achieve those goals. Check out how to perform barbell reverse lunges below.

CONCLUSION

The barbell reverse lunge is an exercise that can get you to elite fitness levels. However, this is an exercise that requires you to know your level lest you get injured.