How to Do a Dumbbell Forward Lunge With Proper Form

Dumbbell lunges are one of the best lower body exercises to work the quadriceps (thighs) and gluteal muscles (butt).

Just as squats, lunges effectively strengthen the legs and improve hip stability. Also, side to side body control in the lunge exercise helps to improve your balance. 

Because lunges are a unilateral exercise, it works to correct the asymmetrical balance between the legs.

Jon Erick Kawamoto, CSCS writes, lunge exercises change the load distribution and emphasizes one leg than two, like in bilateral exercises such as squats and leg press. 

If you’re looking for an exercise that slims and tones the thighs, the lunges are a great choice.  

How to Do a Dumbell Forward Lunge

  1. Stand as tall as you can with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell on each side and tighten abs. 
  2. Look straight ahead and keep your torso as upright as possible for the entire exercise with your lower back slightly arched.
  3. Keeping your abs engaged, take a step forward about 2-3 feet straight in front of you. Place your weight on the front heel and raise your back heel to be on your toes. 
  4. Bend the back knee to lower your body by bending your back knee until your front thigh is parallel to the floor. 
  5. Go back to the starting position and repeat 10 times before switching to the other side.

Tips: Your front knee should not pass your toes.

Physical therapist and strength conditioning coach, Gray Cook recommends you perform one to two extra set on the side that is weaker or less coordinated until both sides of your lunge feel relatively even.

Lunge varieties allow you to train this way and are often used as a part of strength conditioning and physical therapy regimen.

Who is this exercise good for?

Lunging is recommended and suitable for people of all fitness levels.

The real-life application of the Dumbbell Forward Lunge or any type of lunge exercise carries over to many daily activities like going up the stairs, running or playing sports. 

Adding lunges to leg workout routines can not only enhance your fitness level but also improve the performance of your daily activities.

Exercise Table

Reps Sets Level Location
10-12 2-3 Medium Gym or Home

If you are a beginner, start with Bodyweight Forward Lunge. As your fitness level improves, add a pair of dumbbells to add intensity. 

When selecting dumbbells, make sure to pick a dumbbell weight that you can lunge 10-12 repetitions with.

If you can’t support the dumbbells throughout the set, choose lighter dumbbells.

Misato Alexandre


After making healthy living a priority, Misato lost over 20 lbs in less than 90 days. Instead of weight loss being a dreading experience, living the lifestyle of health and fitness granted her more happiness and joy than ever before. She co-founded Fitwirr to make health and fitness simple for everyone and share her tips through writing evidence-based articles on nutrition, weight loss, and exercise.

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