30 Variations Of Lunges To Tone Your Legs & Butt

It’s been forever since I’ve put together a “Variations” post… I couldn’t put it off any longer.

And I had just the idea… LUNGES!

There are so many unique ways to perform a lunge that often get over looked.

Lunges are great for working the thighs, butt and even abs! But let’s face it, doing “lunges” all the time can get boring, but that’s where these 30 variations come in handy!

First though, check out this picture from filming yesterday.

We had the best time filming our Halloween workout for Fit Womens Weekly at the gorgeous Magnolia Plantation & Gardens. It was stunning.

If you’re in Charleston and looking for something to do, go there this weekend, as they will be holding “Magnolia Fright Night“.


Thank you Herb and the rest of the staff we met for making our time there yesterday so great and for some awesome photos! Photo source: Magnolia Plantation & Gardens

Now, back to lunges…

30 to be exact.

Fight workout boredom by sprucing up your current mundane moves with some of these variations.

As with every variations post before, I have a challenge for you…

Advanced: Complete 10 reps of every single variation below.

Beginner: Complete 10 reps of any 10 variations, your choice.


30 Variations Of Lunges To Sculpt & Lift Your Lower Half

Regular Lunge

regular lunge


  • If you’re new to lunges, do this first! Practice until you feel comfortable, watch yourself in a mirror to ensure proper form.
  • Keep the shoulders up high, head looking forward as you step out.
  • Lower the back knee towards the ground (almost but not quite touching). Keep the front knee directly over the ankle.
  • Push off the front foot back to the starting position.

Walking Lunges

walking lunge
  • This is just like the regular lunge, but instead of pushing off your front foot to return to start, push up to bring the back leg to the front.
  • Take a step and repeat.

Reverse Lunges

reverse lunges
  • This version is a bit more gentle on the knee joints.
  • Instead of stepping forward, step backwards and lower that leg down towards the ground.
  • Return to start and repeat with the other leg.

Side Lunge

side lunge
  • This is a more advanced move and it requires both hip and groin flexibility.
  • Start standing with chest high, head forward and feet shoulder width apart.
  • Take a large step out to the side and bend that knee, keeping the other straight.
  • Concentrate on pushing the hips back as if going to sit down on something and keep the foot (of the bent leg) flat on the ground.
  • It’s easy to “toe” this lunge, don’t do it.

Curtsey Lunge

curtsey lunge
  • Perhaps in the southerner in me, but I love this lunge.
  • Start with feet shoulder width apart, and chest up.
  • Step one foot back and across the other leg as if doing a curtsy.
  • The front knee will go slightly angled and forward, that’s okay. Just make sure you take a big enough step to allow your front foot to remain flat on the ground.

Diagonal Lunge

diag lunge
  • Start with feet shoulder width apart, and chest up.
  • Pretend as if you’re the center of a clock. Step your right foot out to the 1-2 O’Clock position and return to start.
  • Then do the same with the left leg but have it lunging forward to 10-11 O’Clock position.

Lunge with Lift

lunge lift
  • Complete the regular squat.
  • At the end, push-up off the front foot while lifting the back heel up towards the sky. Keep this leg straight.
  • This is a great extra butt burner.


lunge pulse
  • The “silent killer” as I like to call them. They look harmless but after a few reps your legs are on fire.
  • Start in a wide stance, head and shoulders looking forward.
  • Bend the legs into a standard lunge and straight them up again.
  • Complete all reps before continuing on the other side.

Lunge Jumps

lunge jumps
  • Butt burner and balance tester!
  • Start in a wide lunge stance (like above) and lower into a lunge.
  • Powerfully, jump up and switch legs to land back in a lunge with the other leg out front.

Diagonal Lunge Jumpers

diagonal lunge jumps
  • This is just like a standard lunge jump, except doing it with diagonal lunges.

Lateral Lunge Jumps

lateral lunge jumps
  • Once you have standard lunge jumps, give these a try.
  • While you’re lunge jumping gently and slowly move sideways.
  • This is a great way to improve muscle + brain communication and focus on balance.

Lunge Mt Climbers

lunge mount climbers
  • These are so much fun!
  • Start with hands on the ground, one foot flat on the ground up near your hand (lunge) with the other extended back, straight.
  • Jump the feet and change to lunge on the other side.
  • Make sure to keep your butt low, mid climber should be close to a plank position.

Around The World


side lunge


back lunge


side lunge
  • This is a combination of a forward lunge, side lunge, reverse lunge and side lunge.
  • Start feet together, and lunge forward. Push back to starting position.
  • Lunge sideways to the right and back to start.
  • Reverse lunge back, and return to start.
  • Finally, lunge to the left and back to start.
  • This is one rep.

Reverse Lunge With Kick

  • The standard reverse lunge above with a forward kick added.
  • Great for balance training and core work.

Side Lunge Wipers

side to side lunges
  • Much like a lunge pulse.
  • Start with the feet wider than shoulder width apart, and sway into a right side lunge.
  • Don’t move feet, instead push through your right foot, and sway into the left lunge.

Long Lunges

long lunges
  • Maintaining the rules of a standard lunge, this differs only in the execution.
  • Take the lunge out as far as possible, instead of the back leg lowering down towards the ground, it should remain some what straight.
  • The front leg should still get to a 90-degree bend.

Tick Tocs

tic toc lunges
  • A combination of a reverse lunge and a forward lunge.
  • Lunge backwards with the right foot, then without stopping in the middle, lunge forward with the right foot.
  • Complete reps on one side before moving to the other.

Reverse Walking Lunges

walking reverse
  • Tired of boring walking lunges? Do these!
  • Reverse lunge as shown above, but this time push off the front foot to meet the back foot.
  • Repeat on the other leg.

Crossover Lunges

front cross lunge
  • Much like the curtsy lunge, the only exception is that instead of lunging backwards, you’re cross over forwards and over.
  • Make sure again that the front foot is able to remain flat on the ground. This is done by taking a wide enough step.

Elevated Lunges

elevated lunge
  • It’s amazing how changing the position of the foot can change the exercise.
  • Place your front foot on a step and complete lunge pulses as stated above.
  • Make sure to keep your back nice and straight.

Split Squats Lunges

split lunge
  • How did a squat make it’s way into this list? Because it’s a hybrid.
  • Called a squat, it’s actually an advanced lunge.
  • Place one foot on a bench, chair, etc the other foot about 3-feet away (each person will need to practice to find their right position).
  • Make sure that when you lower down the knee is able to stay over the ankle even when 90-degrees is achieved.
  • If you need help with balance, have a chair beside you to hold on to.

Weighted (Standard)

weighted lunge
  • You are now ready to up the antics and add a dumbbell to training!
  • Complete your reps just like above, the only difference is that you’ll have a dumbbell held right above your chest.

Suitcase Lunges

suitecase lunge
  • Why? Because they will target your obliques more than usual.
  • Start with a lighter dumbbell to ensure proper technique and then work your way up in weight.
  • The weight is only in one hand. Complete half reps on one side and half on the other.

Overhead Lunges

overhead lunge
  • You’ve got the standard lunge down.
  • Now grab 2 dumbbells, and extend them straight overhead as you complete all reps, this is great for not only balance but core training and shoulder strength.
  • If 2 is too difficult, you can use 1, holding it by the ends.

Reverse Rotational Lunges

rotating lunges
  • A great ab exercise!
  • Reverse lunge backwards while simultaneously rotating a dumbbell over the leg that is in front towards the outside of the body.
  • Return to start and repeat with the other side.

Walking Rotational Lunges

lunges rotation
  • Like above, but with a forward lunge.

Lunge With Curl

  • You’ve got the standard lunge down.
  • Now grab 2 dumbbells, and as you lower down into the lunge curl them up.
  • Make sure to curl with focus on the biceps, not just swinging them up.

Lateral Raise Lunges

lateral raise lunges
  • You’ve got the standard lunge down.
  • Now grab 2 dumbbells, and as you lower down into the lunge complete a lateral raise at the same time.
  • You’ll need a lighter weight than with the bicep curls.

Lunge Jump Burpees

lunge jump burpee
  • What a way to end, right?
  • Start with a standard burpee, and once you jump up out of the push-up complete 2 lunge jumps (1 on each side)
  • Want more burpees? Here are 30 Burpee Variations

Like this post? Check out these other exercise variations posts:

30 Plank Exercises and Variations

35 Pushup Exercises and Variations

30 Burpee Exercises

27 Squat Exercises

And that’s a wrap on lunges…

Do you like lunges? 

What’s your favorite lower body exercise?

I clearly like them, but they aren’t my favorite. I’m a squat girl!

Love to workout but feeling like you’re not getting the results you deserve from the effort? Check out my Body Burn Challenges so we can work together. Having a coach is an invaluable asset to getting REAL results! Love to help you!



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