Reverse Lunges with a Twist

Posted on by Ben Bruno

I hope everyone is getting a good start to the week. With being off work yesterday for Memorial Day, I am already thrown off and keep thinking it’s Monday. Oh well, who needs Monday anyway?


Ok, moving on. About a month ago, I made a post called My Favorite Leg Exercise with a Twist where I showed “1.5” walking lunges. I guess I’m not the only one that loves them because I have received more good feedback about those from people that tried them than probably any other exercise I have shown in the past six months. There were several people, however, that commented about how as much as they wanted to try them, it just wasn’t in the cards due to facility limitations. Fair point. As much as I love walking lunges, the biggest downside to them is that they require a fairly large amount of open space free of equipment and people. For people lifting in a small or crowded area, it just isn’t feasible. I can empathize with that. I have grown spoiled this year because I have a great place to train, but that wasn’t always the case. I spent my college years in a gym that was so crowded it resembled the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Furthermore, the room itself was curved, so walking lunges were out. Sucks, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

Enter “1.5” reverse lunges. The idea behind these is similar to the walking lunges but they can be done with limited space. Moreover, for people with knee pain, reverse lunges may be more tolerable than walking lunges since there is less decelerative force since you are stepping backward rather than propelling yourself forward. For this reason, they also do not make you as sore the next day as the walking lunges will. You can also add additional range of motion to the exercise by standing on an aerobic step, which you can’t do with the walking lunge.

The “1.5” reps (one full rep followed by a half rep in the bottom position) help to keep you honest with your form and really works the glutes and hip stabilizers to keep your knee from going into valgus. It also provides more time under tension if you are looking to pack some muscle on your thighs or tighten up your butt.

Here it is in action. I did these with 275 pounds for “8” reps. When I went back to upload the video, I noticed two things. First, the music in the background is sweet. I shouldn’t have to tell you what it is, but in case you aren’t sure, it’s called “Regulate” by Warren G and Nate Dogg. It’s one of my favorites. Second, my shirt matches the aerobic step. How cute. I’d like to say I planned that. Actually, it’s probably better that I didn’t.

At the end of the day, I’m partial to walking lunges (just personal preference), but this is still awesome. I use both. Give it a shot yourself and see how you like it.

Have a good day. If you have not seen this week’s Good Reads, be sure to check that out.

  • FA

    Awesome blog man. Keep it up. I wanted to ask about split squat variations. Do you think for an athlete (or anybody thats not a powerlifter), doing heavy split squat variation or single leg squats should replace back squats? I know coach boyle really pushes this

  • Hamish

    Hey great blog! I have learnt some very useful stuff here!

    Did you ever get around to posting the results from your pullup variation experiment? I can't recall seeing anything and hope I didn't miss it.