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Breakthrough Fitness

Weekly Workout: Lateral Lunges (Side Lunges)

Hey everybody, it’s Coach Dom here with our newest trainer, Mackenzie, to show you our movement of the week.

We featured this movement several months ago, but it’s such a great move that we wanted to feature it again.

We’re talking about side lunges or lateral lunges.

We tend to move a lot in “two-dimensional” space—up and down, backward and forward—but we don’t usually move from side to side, especially during our workouts. The lateral lunge is a great way to build functional strength in a new plane.

Side lunges are an excellent workout for nearly the entire body. It’s great for working the hamstrings, quads, glutes, and infamous inner thigh area.

Side Lunges: The Basics

If you’re just starting out, I like to begin with stationary side lunges.

You’ll start with your legs wider than hip width apart and your arms out in front of you. As you lunge to one side, keep your right leg straight and sit back over your heel.

Having your arms in front of you will keep your upper body upright. It’s easy to want to bend over during this movement, but please don’t. It places too much strain on your lower back. Your body will naturally bend over a little bit; that’s fine. But don’t go overboard and end up kissing the floor.

Too Easy?

If that’s too easy for you, or if you’ve gotten used to stationary side lunges, here’s a variation you can try.

Starting with your feet together, step out with your left foot, keeping your right foot in place. Sit back over your left heel just as you did before, then step your left foot back next to your right foot.

This adds a little extra cardio to this move as well as a challenge for your lower body.

Side Lunges: Adding Weights

Once that’s too easy (go, you!), start with a kettlebell.

Make sure you hold it goblet-style at your neck, rather than holding it in between your legs. This will put too much strain on your lower back and make you bend over too much.

If you have access to sand bags, those are also a great weight option for the lateral lunge. Hold it at chest level to prevent back strain and add some resistance to your midsection.


Side lunges, or lateral lunges, are a great exercise that you should definitely be adding to your fitness program, especially if you’re looking to build lower body strength.

See you next week and keep moving,