How to Do Dumbbell Lunges 

Dumbbell lunges are one of the best exercises available to firm your legs, butt, and abs. Done correctly, this lower body exercise will increase total-body strength and improve your balance. 

There are many different variations of lunge exercises that target different muscle groups. You can do a side lunge to specifically work the inner thighs, or the traditional forward lunge to work your quad muscles.

Working large muscle groups like your quads and thighs will spike your metabolism higher than when you work smaller muscles like the arms. This will have your body burning lots of extra calories. 

Dumbbell Lunges

Forward Lunge

Exercise Instructions:

  • Start out in a standing position with your feet together. After engaging your abs, take a big step forward making sure to keep your back straight. As you step forward, focus on using a downward movement of your hips toward the floor.

  • Lower the front knee to a 90-degree angle slightly bending forward at your hips, but keeping your back straight. Your back knee should almost be touching the ground. 

  • Push off of your front leg and return to your starting position and repeat the exercise with your other leg.
dumbbell forward lunge exerciseKim Demonstrating the Forward Lunge

Twisting Dumbbell Lunges

Exercise Instructions:

  • Start out in a standing position holding a dumbbell at chest level with both hands.

  • Take a big step forward with you left leg and bend straight down so that your back is straight and your left upper leg is parallel with the floor. Your right knee should be a few inches above the ground and balanced on the toes.

  • Twist your upper body to the left, keeping the dumbbell centered in front of your chest until your shoulders are almost squared to your left (as pictured).

  • Twist back, return to your starting position and repeat the exercise with your other leg.

Try and do 4-6 reps with each leg for one set.

twisting lunge position #2
twisting lunge position #3Kyle Demonstrating the Dumbbell Twisting Lunge


  • This exercise can be done effectively with a medicine ball or dumbbell.

Lunge with Press

    Exercise Instructions:
  • Start by standing straight and hold a pair of dumbbells down at your sides.

  • Take a big step forward with your right leg and bend down so that your back is straight and your right upper leg area is parallel with the floor. Your left knee should be a few inches above the ground and balanced on the toes.

  • Press the dumbbells straight up above your shoulders and bring them back down before you return to your original starting position. 

You should start this exercise by using light weight dumbbells to make sure balance is not an issue.

dumbbell lunge position #1
dumbbell lunge position #2
dumbbell lunge with Overhead pressKim Demonstrating the Lunge Exercise with Dumbbells

Dumbbell Side Lunge

    Exercise Instructions:
  • Holding a dumbbell in front of your hips with your feet spread wider than your hips, take a large step to your right bending your right knee down so that the right thigh is parallel to the ground and your left leg is straight. Both heels should be flat on the floor.

  • After pausing for a count, push off from your right foot and return to your starting position. Repeat the exercise with your other leg.

dumbbell side lunge position #1
dumbbell side lunge position #2
dumbbell side lunge position #3Kim Demonstrating the Dumbbell Side Lunge

Benefits of Lunges 

  • Muscle Imbalance: Muscle imbalances are quite common, and exercises like dumbbell lunges can help you to recognize it. You will easily determine if one side of your body is stronger than the other side. If you identify one leg being noticeably weaker than the other, try and perform one extra set on the side that is less strong until they even up.
  • Balance Control: In order to properly do any type of dipping exercise like the lunge you will need good balance control. Thankfully if your balance skills are not strong this exercise can help you to improve them quickly.

  • Hip Flexibility: Lunges will stretch out your hips and strengthen them at the same time. This is important because the tighter they get the better chance you have for acquiring constant lower back pain and leave yourself open to injury.

  • Calorie Burning: Because of the high-intensity of this exercise, your body will create an "afterburn" effect, running your metabolism at an extremely high rate burning extra fat and calories. 

  • Core Strength: Dumbbell Lunges help you maintain a strong core as you maintain your balance during the exercise. A strong core will constantly support other important muscle groups as they perform their functions.

  • Convenience: Whether you are home or on the road, with just a little space available, you can do lunge exercises anywhere.

Other pages that might interest you:

I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or ideas you would like to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum

» » Dumbbell Lunges

Join the Health and Fitness 
Conversation on Our Fitness House Facebook 


Ask Kim Mulligan Your Fitness Questions

Daily Tips for Staying Healthy and Fit

Printable Workouts and Diet/Food Lists and Charts

Recent Articles

  1. Wall Squats for Stronger Upper Legs

    Nov 19, 18 06:11 AM

    Wall squats are a simple way to add strength to your upper legs and burn an amazing number of calories at the same time. Use our illustrated instructions to ensure proper execution and avoid injury.

    Read More

  2. Post Workout Meal - Refuel with the Right Stuff

    Nov 18, 18 06:03 PM

    See how your post workout meal could be the most important meal of the day. Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand.

    Read More

  3. Healthy Nutritious Snack Foods to Maintain High Energy Levels

    Nov 18, 18 02:39 PM

    Healthy nutritious snack foods can be difficult to come up with at times, especially when hunger hits. These snack recipes are easy to make, taste great, and will keep you full and satisfied.

    Read More