T Nation

Lunges for Maximum (Unilateral) Hypertrophy

Thibs,

I was wondering what your perspective or approach was with performing lunges (with dumbbells).
Do you prefer alternating walking lunges OR alternating step out in front and then back to stand up starting position lunges?

Anyone else with knowledge on lunge technique feel free to chime in as well.

[quote]Eric Buratty wrote:
Thibs,

I was wondering what your perspective or approach was with performing lunges (with dumbbells).
Do you prefer alternating walking lunges OR alternating step out in front and then back to stand up starting position lunges?

Anyone else with knowledge on lunge technique feel free to chime in as well.[/quote]

There are tons of ways to perform lunges, all have their pros and cons and proper application.

There are three main categories of lunges or unilateral split work:

  • Static split squat style: you start and end in the split position, you simply go up or down without bringing your feet together.

  • Foward-and-back style: start with both feet together, take a step forward to the lunge position then push yourself back up to the starting position

  • Walking style: walking in the lunge position forward or backwards

Then you have two set styles:

  • alternating legs

  • do all reps with one leg before moving on to the next

Finally you have several step positions:

  • Short steps (work the quads more)

  • Medium steps (quads and glutes)

  • Long steps (hamstrings and glutes)

  • Lateral steps

Which one is best? It depends on your body-type and muscle dominance.

I prefer to either use a forward-and-back or walking type(I keep the static split style for beginners), using an alternating style. With someone who is hamstrings dominant I tend to use short or medium step lunges, with someone who is quads dominant I go with a long or medium step lunge. At least most of the time.