Lunges with a barbell on the shoulders - the correct implementation

Lunges with a barbell is a classic exercise for the development of the hips and buttocks, which is used along with squats and leg presses. The effectiveness of lunges is confirmed by many athletes, the exercise invariably appears in training programs on the lower body, and is often mentioned in books on fitness and bodybuilding.

Why do we need lunges?

Lunges with a barbell on the shoulders allow you to create a load on several muscle groups at once. As a result, the exercise is considered basic.

Lunges with a barbell on the shoulders - the correct implementation

During movement, work:

  • Quadriceps are the most the large muscles of our body that extend the legs in the knee joints.

  • Back of the thigh: thigh biceps, semi-tendon and semi-membranous muscles. These muscles flex the knee and extend the hip joint.
  • Large gluteal muscles, which actually form the buttocks. They unbend the body.

Also, some load goes to the calves and muscles of the body stabilizers.

The core muscles are actively engaged if you are doing an exercise with a free barbell, and you have to, among other things, maintain balance. If you make lunges in Smith, the trajectory of the neck is fixed, and practically nothing needs to be stabilized.

Thus, the main benefit of lunges is the integrated development of the muscles of the legs and buttocks. It is worth saying that the exercise is quite variable. That is, by changing the width of the step, you can shift the emphasis of the load towards the quadriceps or gluteal muscles.

In addition, like other exercises for training the lower body, lunges increase blood circulation in the pelvic area, which has a beneficial effect on the condition of internal organs. Exercise will help girls cope with the manifestations of cellulite.


According to the principle of balance, contraindications to its use also follow from the benefits of exercise. Lunges train muscles well due to the fact that they allow you to create a significant load on them. But it is precisely this load that can prove fatal to joints, especially knee joints.

For injuries or any pain in the knees, lunging is contraindicated.

If your knees are healthy, so as not to get injured while doing exercises, strictly adhere to the technique. Namely, do not extend the knee of the front leg beyond the line of the toe (this creates a traumatic load) and do not knock the knee of the supporting leg on the floor.

Technique of the exercise

As mentioned earlier, lunges are a rather varied exercise. Therefore, we first consider the classic version of its implementation, and then we list the possible variations.

Lunges with a barbell on the shoulders - the correct implementation

Starting position:

  1. Place the bar bar on your shoulders just below your neck. Straighten your back, straighten your chest, place your feet slightly narrower than shoulder width.
  2. Take a wide step forward and lock in position. The working leg should stand on a full foot, and the supporting leg only on the toe.

Choose the width of the step based on the fact that when bending, the knee of the front leg should form a right angle.

With a supporting leg, everything is not so tough. You can put it closer to the front, so that her knee also bends at a right angle. In this case, the main load during the exercise will be on the quadriceps. If you put your supporting leg away, and the angle in her knee is more than 90 degrees, you will make your buttock work more.


  1. From the starting position on the inspiration, lower yourself into a lunge.

    Make sure that the knee of the working leg does not extend beyond the line of the toe, and the knee of the supporting does not hit the floor. You should feel the extension of the back of the thigh and buttocks. The back remains straight during the movement, the natural deflection is preserved in the lower back.

  2. On exhalation, push yourself upward due to the effort of the muscles of the working leg. The movements should be elastic and soft, without jerking.

  3. Repeat the required number of times and change the working leg.

The number of sets and reps in an exercise will depend on your training goals. As a rule, a lot of lunges are done 10-15 times in 3-4 approaches per leg. If the goal of the training is fat burning, the exercise is performed in a multi-repetitive mode, i.e.

at least 20 times in the approach. Weight, accordingly, is reduced.

It is better to lunges with a barbell in the middle or at the end of a leg workout, for example, after squats or leg presses.

Variations of the exercise:

  • As already mentioned, you can change the step width, thus shifting the load on the quadriceps or large buttocks.
  • Putting the working leg on a small stand (10-15 cm), you will increase the extension of the gluteal muscle at the lower point of movement and make the study of the buttocks more accentuated.

  • If you lift the supporting leg onto the stand, then load the muscles of the working leg as much as possible.
  • You can perform lunges not with a barbell, but with dumbbells. Hands in this case fall along the body. The load on the spine will be slightly less.

In fat burning training, walking lunges are often used.

That is, you do not stand with both feet on the floor, just bending your knees, but either step forward or back with one foot, or alternate your legs. You can generally lunges around the room.

Lunges with a barbell on the shoulders - the correct implementation

Although such training burns a large amount of energy, it does not allow you to maximize muscle load, because while you lunge on one leg, the second rests. And the working leg does not have time to get tired, you immediately change it. Therefore, when training for mass, dynamic lunges are better not to use.

Typical mistakes

In order not to get injured instead of beautiful legs and tight buttocks, follow the technique and make no mistakes:

  • Do not take the knee of the working leg out of the line of the toe . The supporting leg is always on the toe and does not touch the floor with the knee.
  • When lunging with a free barbell, do not put your feet on the same line.So it will be extremely difficult for you to keep balance. The legs are in a natural position.

  • Keep your back straight. You have weight on your shoulders, therefore, any bending of the spine causes a traumatic load.
  • Before performing work approaches, do one warm-up or warm up your muscles and ligaments in another way.
  • If at the chosen weight it is difficult for you to maintain balance or to perform exercises purely, reduce the load. Alternatively, try using the Smith machine.

By following these guidelines, you can make your workout productive and safe. Lunges are not in vain considered one of the most effective exercises for the development of muscles of the lower body. A little patience, focus on results, and you will surely be satisfied!



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