How to Do a Side Lunge

Side lunges allow you to work your hips, glutes, and thighs a bit differently than the standard squats and lunges while still targeting the same major muscles of the lower body.

They offer a really good workout and place less burden on the knees, reducing the risk of injury.

First, start off with your body weight. Once you get the movement down, add weights to make the lunge more challenging.

Here is how to do them below!

Bodyweight Side Lunge

1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place hands on your waist or together in front of your chest. Tighten abs.

Side lunge position 1

2. Take a big side step to your right with your right foot. Shift your weight towards your right leg. This makes your knee slightly bent and the other leg fully extended. Press back up by extending your right leg and hip. That’s one rep. Do 10-12 reps, then switch sides and repeat for a total of 2-3 sets.

Side lunge position 2

Note:You should be feeling stretch on the inner thigh of the straight leg. While keeping your upper body straight, push your hips back and lower your body until the thigh is parallel to the floor.

To make the exercise more challenging, add weights. Here’s how to perform it with a pair of dumbbells.

Dumbbell Side Lunge

1. Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand down at your sides.

Dumbbell lunge position 1

2. Take a big step to the right with your right foot. Drop your butt back and body until your knee and hip are at a 90 degree angle as if you place the weights on either side of your foot. Keep the left leg slightly angled to keep the knee from extending over your toes. Keep your arms fully extended.

Dumbbell lunge 2

3. Press back to the starting position by extending your right leg and hip. At the top, bring your right foot back next to your left foot. That’s one rep. Do 10 to 12 reps, then switch sides.

Dumbbell lunge position 3

Additional tips:

  • Don’t let your bent knee pass your toe.
  • Balance and support the weight of your body on the heels not the balls of your feet.
  • Return to the original position and repeat 10-12 times before switching sides.

Side Lunge Infographic

Side Lunge

Exercise Table

10 on each side3EasyGym or Home

There you have it!

The side lunge exercise is simple and easy to do and much friendlier to the knees. This makes the exercise great for beginners who are just getting started with.

Follow the tips above to ensure you are performing the exercise with proper form.

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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