6 Simple Lunge Variation Exercises for Beginners to Build Muscular Legs

Incorporating lunge variation can help strengthen and build muscular legs. (Image via Pexels / Mart Production)
Incorporating lunge variation can help strengthen and build muscular legs. (Image via Pexels/Mart Production)

Lunges are a go-to exercise for many people looking to get in shape, but how do you know which lunge variations will work best for your fitness?

Understanding a few key points about lunge movement can help you choose an appropriate variation so that you can start reaping the benefits of this simple (but super effective) exercise.

Lunge variations are also a unilateral exercise, meaning you primarily train one side of your body at a time. A lunge is a great way to identify and correct muscle imbalance between the left and right side. It also challenges body stability, making it a sneaky way to get in some core training.

Simple Lunge Variation Exercises

Here's a look at six such workouts:

1) Slider Reverse Lunge

Reverse lunges are an easier lunge variation to start with when working on your lunge form. For one, the impact is less on the knees.

Here’s a video on how to do them with a slider.


To do this move:

  • Stand on a slider, with your toes in the middle of the board and heels off the ground.
  • Your knees should be bent at 90 degrees. Slide your rear foot back, and drop your back knee to the ground.
  • Stop before your knee hits the ground.
  • Stand up from the bottom position by pulling forward with your front leg.

2) TRX Lunge

Lunge variations can be improved by using a TRX. That will help stabilize the body while you learn new variations and give your core the support it needs to complete any lunge exercise.


Here's how you do this lunge variation:

  • Take hold of the TRX handles in your hands at chest level.
  • Step back till there are enough slack in the straps for you to bring them to hip level, but not so much that you lose balance by leaning back.
  • Keep a loose grip on the handles, and take a step back into a reverse lunge.
  • Touch your back knee gently to the floor.
  • As you rise up, pull the handles towards your chest so that they help support the body.

3) Pendulum Lunge

The pendulum lunge is an advanced lunge variation that tests your balance and core strength. You'll start with the reverse lunge, then 'pendulum' your way into a forward lunge without stepping back with your right foot.


To do this move:

  • Stand with your feet a bit wider than hip-width apart and toes facing forward.
  • Ground your right foot into the floor for stability, and lift your left foot behind you.
  • Step it back to perform a reverse lunge.
  • When your back knee comes close to the ground, come back to a standing position.
  • Skip the rest between lunges by immediately transitioning into another lunge. Perform a few reps, and switch sides.

4) Walking Lunge

One of the best lunge variations out there is the walking lunge. A lot of lifters have a great deal of mental grit and are quite serious about leg training - they've got a lot of backbone. Walking lunges are a great way to burn up the quads, glutes, and hamstrings and get serious results.


Here's how you do this exercise:

  • Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, and take a step forward with your right foot. Sink into a lunge till both legs are bent at 90 degrees at the knees.
  • When your front knee nearly touches the ground, press through your back foot, and rise back to standing.
  • Transition into lunging forward with your next foot as you walk in place. Repeat as you switch legs.

5) Lateral Lunge

Lunging variations are great for strengthening the hip, gluteus maximus, and the thigh area. They promote flexibility in the hips and hamstrings. You can also use lunges to work on balance and overall coordination, as they move you in three dimensions.


To do this move:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, with toes facing forward. Take a big step with your right foot, and sink back into a squat on your right leg.
  • Make sure your left knee tracks over your toes, and keep your left foot flat on the ground at all times.
  • Press through your feet to come back up to standing position. Repeat.

6) Skater Squat

This lunging variation is basically a reverse lunge — except that you bend your back knee faster, and touch the ground with both knees at the same time.


Here's how you do this exercise:

  • Perform a reverse lunge while keeping your back leg straight.
  • Bend your front knee, bringing your shin parallel to the ground.
  • As you lower yourself into a reverse lunge, extend your arms in front of you so that they are parallel to the ground.
  • When you stand back up, bring your back foot forward at the same time as your front foot so that both feet are under your hips.
  • Do this exercise several times, and switch legs.


Exercising the lower body with simple lunge variations can increase muscle mass in the hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes.

They can also improve blood circulation and offer a great way to warm up or cool down at the end of a session.

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Edited by Bhargav
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