The Many Mistakes You're Probably Making with Reverse Lunges

Great leg exercise—but easy to mess up.

Squats are great, but they shouldn't get all the internet's love. An underrated exercise you should be doing more of? Lunges. There is basically a different lunge variation for every mood: side or lateral lunges, forward lunges, the list goes on and on.

But reverse lunges-even though they come with so many benefits-are pretty easy to mess up. You're moving backward. Plus if you're not in front of a mirror, you can't see what your back leg is even doing. It adds up to a recipe for exercise form faux pas. (You might as well add biceps curls and leg lifts to the easy-to-eff-up list.)

Great news: Jen Widerstrom, Shape's contributing fitness editor, The Biggest Loser trainer, and weight-loss expert behind our 40-Day Crush-Your-Goals Challenge, is here with all the ultra-common mistakes you're probably making, and the correct way to perform a reverse lunge for the maximum leg- and booty-burning benefits.

How to Perform the Perfect Reverse Lunge


  • Take a big step back.
  • Keep chest tall and core engaged.
  • Find "center" and bring both feet together (with weight evenly distributed) between each rep.


  • Take a small step back. (If either or both of your knees is forced to bend at an angle of less than 90 degrees, you need to step farther.)
  • Don't use your hands to push off your front leg to stand up.
  • Don't step directly behind the front foot.
Was this page helpful?
Related Articles