I believe Reverse Lunges are superior to Forward Lunges because backward momentum keeps the body in the ideal lunge position—weight on the heel with the knee above the ankle. During a Forward Lunge, momentum shifts the center of gravity too far forward, placing the body weight on the ball of the foot rather than the heel and moving the knee too close to the toe. In this position, the quads apply too much pressure, while the glutes and hamstrings lose leverage and power, often causing knee pain. The reduced glute and hamstring activity decreases knee stability and diminishes power development on the upward phase of the Lunge.
The Reverse Lunge is great for developing an athletic lower body, perfect for any sport requiring speed and power. It is also a more sport-specific movement for sprinting than the Forward Lunge. During the upward phase of the Lunge, swinging the back leg forward to a standing position is ideal for developing power in the front leg in the proper direction, thus making the Reverse Lunge an ideal move for athletic performance.
Below I will address how to achieve a perfect ‘Reverse Lunge’
Step one Begin in a standing position. Your hands should be on your hips or hanging at your sides. Look directly forward, keeping your chest up, with your feet shoulder-width apart. This will be your starting position.
Initiate the movement by taking a step to the rear, allowing your hips and knees to flex to lower your body. Contacting the back leg through only the ball of the foot, descend until your knee nearly touches the ground. Use a slow and controlled motion, paying special attention to proper mechanics and posture. The knee should stay in line with the foot, and the thoracic spine should remain neutral.
After a brief pause, return to the starting position by driving through the heel of the front leg to extend the knees and hips.
This movement can be done completely on one side before switching, or can be performed in an alternating fashion.
By Danny Silk PT