Dumbbell Lunges: The Techniques, Variations, and Benefits of This Tremendous Lower-Body Workout

Written by: Stuart Carter,

Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1
C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

Written by: Stuart Carter,

Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1
C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

dumbbell lunges

Dumbbell lunges are an excellent addition to your daily schedule, no matter what shape you're in.

In essence, dumbbell lunges are almost the same as the standard lunge.

But dumbbell lunges add extra weight, which pushes your body harder, which results in muscle growth, size, and strength.

If you’re new to dumbbell lunges, then you must be aware that you are going to experience muscle soreness the next day. This is a sign that the dumbbell lunges are working.

But you shouldn't repeat them every day. Leave at least 48 hours between sessions.

The exact number of calories you’ll burn will depend on your current weight and body mass, but the average man should burn about 40 calories doing 3 sets of dumbbell lunges.

Dumbbell Lunges: A Step-By-Step Guide

    • Start by choosing 2 dumbbells of the same weight. You may need to experiment with which weight suits you best. You should be struggling to complete the last rep. If in doubt, start light and build up.
    • Stand straight with your feet at shoulder-width apart, your back straight but relaxed, and your arms hanging straight at each side. You’ll need a dumbbell in each hand and should grip them with your palm facing towards your leg.
    • Start with your right leg and take a big step forward. Bend your knee as you step so that your thigh is parallel to the ground.
    • Your rear leg should also be bent with its calf parallel to the ground. Your knee should not touch the ground or go as low as your toes; this will place excess stress on your knee joint.
    • Hold this position for a count of 3 before returning to the starting position.
    • Now, move the left leg forward and repeat the maneuver.

Pro Tip 1: You should be aiming to do 8-10 reps with each leg before taking a break for 30-60 seconds. You can then repeat the set twice more.

Pro Tip 2: If you've chosen the right weight, it will be a struggle to finish the last set. If it’s too much, stop and use a lighter weight next time.

Check out this video tutorial to learn the fine-form points of dumbbell lunges.

Target Muscles Of Dumbbell Lunges

Dumbbell lunges are generally a lower body exercise. You’ll feel the burn in your glutes, hips, hamstrings, and quads.

Dumbbell lunges will also build strength in your calf muscles and abs. Even your lower back will be strengthened as it helps to keep you balanced throughout the movement.

The dumbbells are mainly used to increase the strain on the above muscles, although they will help to tone your arms and shoulders as you exercise.

Benefits Of Dumbbell Lunges

The most obvious benefit of any type of exercise is that you’ll be burning extra calories. Couple dumbbell lunges with this 24-minute workout, and you can burn several hundred calories each time.

If you've adjusted your diet to reduce your calorie intake, this will mean your body is burning fat in order to give you the energy you need.

Dumbbell lunges are one of the few exercises that isolate and work your glutes independently instead of relying on your hip flexors and spinal erectors.

That’s great if you’re trying to lose weight! But, there are other benefits to dumbbell lunges:


Because you are holding dumbbells, your body is being forced to retain its balance throughout the entire exercise. This improves balance. But, dumbbell lunges go a step further than balance.

They actually make you train one side of your body at a time, the side with the leg forward. This increases the effort needed to keep your balance and will dramatically improve your balance and even your coordination.


Taking a large step forward activates your hip flexors, helping to increase their range of movement and make you more flexible. Increasing flexibility can dramatically improve your life, especially if your job is largely sedentary.

Of course, you need to do more than just dumbbell lunges, but it’s a great starting point.

Lunges also mimic normal everyday activities like walking and climbing. For this reason, dumbbell lunges are known as functional exercises.


Because you’re working on the lower body, you’ll find that you have better balance and better stability. There is a difference.

Balance will help to prevent you from falling over. Stability comes from the strength in the lower part of your body and your core.

It will allow you to complete a variety of tasks, especially anything that involves your spine or pelvis. In short, your posture will improve, as will your ability to complete an array of physical tasks.

Want more? To learn more exercises that you can use in your training, visit our complete exercise library on the Fit Father Project YouTube Channel.

Stuart Carter, Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1
C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

Stuart gained his Diploma in Personal Training & Sports Medicine through Premier Global, back in 2001. In 2018, he completed his Level 1 Precision Nutrition qualification.

Throughout his career in Fitness, Stuart has trained hundreds of clients, worked in almost every position in the industry, and ran his own successful training studio.

After a hiatus away from the Fitness industry, working in Corporate Management and Finance, Stuart returned to what he loves… Fitness! This return led to a chance meeting with Dr. Balduzzi, and a place in the Fit Father Project team.

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*Please know that weight loss results and health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on dumbbell lunges.

Written by: Stuart Carter,

Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1
C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

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