Barbell Reverse Lunge: Benefits and How to Do It Correctly

Barbell reverse lunge is an exercise that works your legs and glutes, which makes it the perfect exercise to shape and tone your legs.

Although the barbell reverse lunge is an exercise that is a little advanced, it will elevate your lower body workout into the upper levels.

The Barbell Reverse Lunge: Working Muscles

Primary Muscle Group

The barbell reverse lunge principally is a workout for the quadriceps and glutes. The rectus fascia, vastus intermedius, huge medialis, and the vast lateral comprise the four muscles of your quadriceps that are located in front of your leg.

This exercise puts significant stress on the quadriceps muscles, which increases the size and strength of the quadriceps.

The gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus form all three muscles of the glutes. As with all lunging movements, the barbell reverse lunge stimulates the glutes. This assists in shaping the glutes and strengthening them as a unit.

Secondary Muscle Group

The barbell reverse lunge activates the calves. It is composed of the soleus and the gastrocnemius; calves engage on the bottom end of every lunge when you push upwards.

Additionally to that, the barbell reverse lunge stretches your abs and back muscles. These muscles are vital in ensuring stability for your upper body when you exercise.

The Barbell Reverse Lunge: Benefits

The Barbell Reverse Lunge Benefits

#1 Stronger Legs And Glutes

Adding weight to the traditional reverse lunge can increase the strain on your body during the exercise. Because of this, making the barbell reverse lunge can help build up serious upper body muscle.

If you’re looking to improve your deadlift or squat and squat, the barbell reverse lunge can be a good addition to your exercise routine.

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Additionally, athletes will benefit from having stronger legs, which will enhance their performance across various sports.

#2 Advanced Balance

The barbell reverse lunge is a unilateral exercise for the legs. With no stability added to both legs, the muscles that stabilize your glutes and legs will be activated to help keep you in a steady position.

If you keep practicing the barbell reverse lunge exercise and your balance will significantly improve as time passes. This will aid you with other exercises. However, you’ll be more secure in your day-to-day tasks.

#3 Aesthetics Improved

The barbell reverse lunge is a grueling leg and glute workout. If you’re trying to create a stronger, better defined, stronger, or fit the lower part of your body, this workout can help you reach your goals.

The barbell reverse lunge is a real compound exercise because it is a muscle-based exercise that works throughout the body.

So the body burns more calories than when you exercise less vigorously, which can help in weight loss.

The Barbell Reverse Lunge: Instructions


All you require is a barbell and a few weights to perform this exercise.


  • Add some weights to your barbell and then put it safely upon its rear deltoids.
  • Begin by standing with your feet approximately the same width apart, your chest elevated, and your back straight.


  1. With your left foot in front of you, take a step back using your right foot, and then move your left foot till your right leg is touching the ground. In this position, your knee on the left should rest directly above the left side of your ankle.
  2. Then, push upwards with control until you reach standing.
  3. Repeat this movement until you have completed your desired number of repetitions. You are free to alternate legs or finish each side one at a time.


The barbell reverse lunge requires advanced coordination. In the beginning, do three sets of between 12 and 15 reps using lighter weight to master the posture.

If you’re using heavier weight, limit yourself to the 6- 8 rep range.

The Barbell Reverse Lunge: Mistakes

The Barbell Reverse Lunge Mistakes

#1 Completing Partial Reps

The most frequent error made by barbells is to complete half reps. If the back knee is not touching the ground, you didn’t complete a full rep.

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Be sure to maximize the exercise by performing full repetitions each time.

#2 Rounding The Upper Back

A lot of lifters allow the barbell’s weight to alter their posture. If this happens, their upper body is leaning forward while their back takes on an unrounded shape.

The rounded back position puts excessive stress on your spine. It can be a cause of back injury.

To avoid this mistake, keep the back straight and your body in a straight line in the barbell reverse lunge.

#3 Spraying The Motion

When lifters add weight to their lunge, they tend to want to do it in the fastest time possible. This causes improper posture and increases the chance of injuries.

If the weight seems too heavy, reduce the weight and concentrate on finishing each rep slowly. This is the only way to be capable of mastering the form and improving the connection between your mind and muscles.

This can actually boost the gains you get from the barbell reverse lunge.

The Barbell Reverse Lunge: Variations

#1 Bodyweight Reverse Lunge

No equipment? Problem solved! Bodyweight reverse lunges are just as efficient as the barbell version. Maintain the same form and increase the number of reps to increase the effectiveness of this exercise.

#2 Dumbbell Reverse Lunge

If the barbell is too heavy for you, you could employ hand-held weights, such as dumbbells, for added resistance.

The dumbbell reverse lunge is executed similarly to that of the barbell reverse lunge. However, it also has the benefit of increasing grip strength.

#3 Kettlebell Reverse Lunge Kickbacks

Kettlebell reverse lunge kickback provides another glute-strengthening element to the exercise. Pick up a kettlebell using both hands, assume the starting position, and make a lunge on one side.

You should kick your trail leg forward and tighten your glute as you climb up. Repeat the move on the opposite side!

The Barbell Reverse Lunge: Alternatives

If you’ve enjoyed making the barbell reverse lunge exercise, check out these additional glute and leg exercises that can increase your lower body strength:

#1 Curtsy Lunge

Begin by standing with your chest elevated with your spine straight.

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If you keep your left foot straight in the front, step forward with your right foot towards the left. Your knees will bend, and your legs will become “crossed.” Be sure that your left leg is placed directly on your left ankle.

Then, you will drive up slowly until you reach an upright position. Repeat the motion using your right foot towards the front. Switch legs after every repetition or after each set.

#2 RFE Split Squat

Begin by placing your trail leg on the elevated surface in front of you. Take a step forward using your trail foot until you have your leg trailing bent slightly.

Lean slightly to the side and keep the back straight. Engage your core, and then squat to your front leg.

Stop for a second at the end of the repetition, and then drive upwards using your leading leg. Keep your core tight and continue!

#3 Goblet Squat

Take your dumbbell’s top in both hands and take an upright posture with your feet slightly more than the shoulder width.

With your toes tucked in, squat down until your hips drop to the knees. Then, raise your legs back to your starting position and repeat!


  • Timothy P. Carnes

    Timothy P. Carnes is a certified personal trainer with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from the University of Florida. With over 8 years of experience in the fitness industry, Timothy is an expert in strength and conditioning, body composition, and overall health and wellness. He also holds certifications in strength and conditioning through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and corrective exercise through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). As an author at FitGAG, he shares his knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics, including strength training, body composition, and overall health and wellness tips. Timothy believes that consistency and discipline are the keys to achieving fitness goals, and he strives to inspire his readers to prioritize their fitness and wellness journey. Through his articles, Timothy aims to empower his readers to take control of their health, enhance their performance, and live their best lives.

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