Do This Lunge Variation For Total Body Strength

Compound exercises are great to recruit multiple muscle groups.

This is great to get a quick workout in, burn fat, and stimulate and grow a lot of muscle mass.

This exercise in particular will not only require strength, but a ton of stability to pull it off.

I present to you….





There is a lot to this exercise as stabilization will be challenged the further you progress through it.


This alone is a great leg exercise in itself.  So if you find this challenging, stick with step one until you are comfortable before adding the overhead press.

Step One

The starting position, is a half kneeling position with the front leg in front, with your shin bone vertical to the floor.  You do not want your knee lunging forward, which will cause you to push more through the toes/forefoot.  By keeping the shin vertical you can load your bodyweight into the heel, recruiting more force through the ground and activating the hamstrings and glutes, as well as the quad.

The back leg has the knee on the floor and and back foot has the toes pressing into the floor.

Basically a 90-90 position, both knees at 90 degree angles.

Once the legs are set up, now focus on a nice tall torso, with shoulders back and core drawn in.

The hands are holding a dumbbell each in the bottom pressing position.

Slightly lean forward with the torso at the hips (not rounding over through the back) as if you are looking over a cliff.

As you lean forward focus on feeling your weight go into your heel and tension in your hamstrings and glutes.

Maintain stability through the whole body as you push through the heel and stand up into a split stance position.

Step Two

Step two is the halfway point, the standing position.  You will feel off balanced in this position, so make sure you own it before proceeding to step three.

Once you raise up into the split stance, squeeze the glute of the back leg to provide additional stability.

Bring the torso up vertical to the floor, as if a string is pulling your head up to the ceiling.

Push the toes of your back foot into the floor.

Draw your abs in tight as you prepare to push the dumbbells overhead, creating an even greater stability challenge.

Step Three

Step three is the push overhead.

With a completely stable body locked in, push the weight overhead in a controlled fashion.

Resist any lumbar extension, arching through the lower back as you press the weight above your head.

Hold the position for a second or two and slowly lower back down to the shoulders.

Once the weights are back to the shoulders, slowly lower the back knee down to floor into the starting 90-90 position and take a second to reset and load everything back up in step one before doing your next rep.

Additional Comments

I can not stress enough, the importance of taking this movement slow.

The faster you go the more likely you are to lose your balance, not hit your stabilizing points, and get sloppy as you progress through your reps.

Don’t focus on just getting a number of reps done, but good quality reps, feeling it where you want to feel it.

This exercise can be challenging enough for some without even using weights, so be patient and load responsibly.


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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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