Major Muscles and Actions Involved

The gluteus medius is involved in hip abduction when you push the hips and body out to the side. The adductor longus, adductor magnus and adductor brevis are also involved when pulling your legs together to assume the upright position. This however, is not a forceful action. The knee joint muscles and actions are the same as in the regular lunge. The main development occurs in the pushoff, with concentration on pushing the hips. This is especially true when the side lunge is done with Active Cords.

Muscles in Action

Side Lunge

Sports Uses

One of the major benefits from doing the side lunge is in the strengthening of the gluteus medius muscle in the pushoff (especially when doing the side lunge with Active cords or on a low pulley cable) and stretching of the groin muscles (especially the gracilis). The movement used in the side lunge is most useful for lateral movements and lateral movements done in combination with running and cutting and jumping for height or distance.

Important Facts to Know

  1. Because the side lunge can be a taxing exercise, you should be sure you have ample strength in your knee, hip and calf muscles. Because you are moving to the side, your knees must possess additional lateral strength of the muscles, ligaments and tendons, especially the medial and lateral collateral ligaments of the knee.
  2. This is not needed to the same extent in exercises such as the squat and front lunge. It should also be noted that the hamstrings come into play to provide even greater lateral stability to the knee joint, especially when you use greater resistance.