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How to progress lunges

I encourage most humans to have a form of a lunge in their programming, as long as their body mechanics and strength allow. It doesn't have to be perfect, especially at first.

If you're new to lunging or feel generally uncomfy about it, I always recommend starting with a TRX lunge. If a TRX isn't available, use the support of a barbell, barbell rack, chair, couch, or anything stable that you can hold onto at mid-section height.

The purpose of starting with a TRX or some form of support is to be able to use your upper body to come up out of the lunge, if needed.

Another option is to reduce your range of motion (ROM). This will look more like a step back with a slight bend in the back knee than it will a full knee to the ground, but that's okay! You have to start somewhere, right?

As your stability and ROM improve, move on to a body weight lunge, then a weighted lunge. If you're adding weight, I'd recommend using 1 kettlebell (as pictured), or 2 dumbbells (one at each of your sides). As that gets easier, bring the weight in front of your shoulders for a front-racked position. Again, I'd recommend either using 1 kettlebell or 2 dumbbells in the front-racked position.

There are many more progressions past these examples, but these will get you started.

Remember progress over perfection.

View the video below for demos of five progressed lunges.


Katharine Moustakes
Hey, friend!

I'm Katharine.

I'm a personal trainer, running coaching, and nutrition coach who's stoked about lifting, the outdoors, summit snacks, and my dog.


I understand that fitness is not your whole life. Fitness is a PART of your life. I approach training in a way that adds value to your life and longevity, so you can enjoy being active whether you're romping around in the mountains, playing with your kids, or signing up for your first 10K race.

I'm here to meet you where you are, so you can train safely and effectively, and gain strength and confidence both in the gym and on the trails.

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