Exercise of the Week: Lunge Off the Floor

The Lunge from off the floor is a great exercise and variation of the ever-popular lunge.  I really love this exercise because it can help the client feel more stable in the bottom, weakest position and give them a better feel for pushing back up through the heel.  Its great exercise that will work the glutes, hamstrings, and quads.

I also feel that it helps them get a better understanding of the exercise when I move them to a standing split lunge or reverse lunge.  They do not use or feel it in their back leg as much, if any.


From the Floor

  1.  Set yourself up in a kneeling position.  Your front leg should be in front with the shin perpendicular to the floor.  You want to make sure your knee does not translate forward past toes.
  2. Back leg should be bent with the knee resting on the floor and foot on the toes.
  3. Keeping the upper body “tall”, no slouching, with the shoulders rolled back.
  4. Slightly, I mean slightly, lean forward at the hips as if you are looking over a cliff.  You should feel tension in the glutes, hams, and quads and weight into your heel.
  5. Focus on pushing completely through the front heel to a semi-standing position (with such a wide stance, full standing position will be impossible) while maintaining upper body control.
  6. Slowly lower back down to the floor.  Become deadweight, then set yourself back up and repeat.


After control has been established for 12-15 reps, you can begin by adding resistance.  A weighted vest can be a good choice since it just adds weight to the body.  Using weights in the hands will help to challenge the scapular stability throughout the exercise as you resist allowing the weight to pull the shoulders down or forward.


with weighted vest


With one dumbbell on opposite side of working leg


Use a block step or something stable to raise the back knee up higher off the floor.  This will decrease the depth of the back leg and hips lowering the intensity level that the front leg has to push through.


Regression by bringing back knee higher off floor using a block step


Try this out today!! My clients LOVE them!!!!


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About The Author

Kevin Fulton

Kevin Fulton is personal trainer in Pittsburgh, PA. His goal is to help his clients look, feel, and move better. In his spare time you can find him under a barbell or practicing jiu jitsu.

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