What is a lateral lunge?
A lateral lunge is a unilateral exercise that is performed in the frontal plane. It improves adductor strength and mobility, increases ankle mobility and lateral stability of the lower body. The majority of our exercises are performed in a sagittal plane such as squats, deadlifts and bench press. However, lateral strength and stability is equally important to train. Training in the frontal plane will help prevent injury and make you stronger in your key lifts and sports performance.
How to perform this exercise
Lateral lunges can be performed as a bodyweight exercise or loaded. Plant your feet in a wide stance (this will vary from each individual due to limb length) whilst keeping your toes pointed forward As you bend one knee and sink into a side lunge, absorb the force in your right leg while you keep your hips back and your spine upright until you are essentially in a single-leg squat. Push the ground away with your bent foot as you come back to the starting position and repeat for the indicated amount of reps. Switch sides, stepping out with your other foot.
Don't round your back. Keep an upright spine to protect your lower back and hips. This is a frontal plane movement, so make sure it doesn’t become a rotational core stability training exercise. Keep the trailing leg nice and straight ensuring that the adductors work hard to maintain this Make sure your foot, ankle, knee, and hip are all in the same line on the working leg. Not properly aligning your knees could lead to knee pain down the road.
Dumbbell or kettlebell lateral lunge
Landmine lateral lunge
Barbell lateral lunge