How to do a running lunge

In order to improve the strength, power and stability of the lower body, it is difficult to beat the lunge. If you really want to increase the intensity, there is no better choice than the running lunge.

“Adding a single-leg vertical jump to the reverse lunge makes the classic strength exercise more challenging,” says Beachbody Director of Fitness and Nutrition Content Trevor Thieme, CSCS. “A running lunge also adds a plyometric element to the exercise, which can help build explosive power.”

This type of lunge helps strengthen key muscles like the glutes and quads while improving balance on one leg. You may also benefit from unilateral strength and power, which can improve overall mileage.

Running lunges are a great exercise for any workout mix. Here’s how to do them safely and effectively.

Instructions for performing lunges

Running lunge single leg Jericho Mcmathew's Fire and Flow

  • Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
  • Keep your chest up and step back into a reverse lunge with your right leg. Your left thigh should be parallel to the floor, knees bent at 90 degrees, and right knee hovering an inch or two off the floor.
  • Simultaneously with the reverse lunge, bend your arms at the elbows and raise your right arm in front of you and your left arm behind you in a runner’s pose. This is the starting position.
  • Keeping your back straight, shoulders back, and core engaged, drive through the ball of your left foot to jump straight up while raising your right knee to at least hip level and your left arm forward and right arm behind pump behind.
  • Land gently on your left foot and immediately return to the starting position to begin your next repetition.
  • Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other leg, doing equal reps on each leg.

Modifications when performing lunges

  • If you have a knee injury or want to focus on form, jump out of motion (as shown at the far right of the animation above), advises Thieme. “Rather than jumping, just get into a high kneeling position,” he says. “You’re still building strength, but without as much impact on your joints, especially your knees.”
  • Other modifications may include dropping into a flatter lunge and pausing between each rep.

Alternatives to running lunges

  • If you want to increase intensity, increase the reps and/or tempo. You can also bring your knee higher at the top of the movement.
  • Intensity can also be increased by adding speed work. For example, do five running lunges on each side, sprint for 15 seconds, and then do another set of running lunges.
  • Looking to add more lunges to your workout? Try the Knicks lunge or the forward lunge.

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