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Deficit Reverse Lunge [Exercise Guide]

If you are tired of traditional lunges and want to stress your glutes more, deficit reverse lunge is just what the doctor ordered. Read on to learn more about the exercise, the proper form, muscles worked, and alternatives.

What Is Deficit Reverse Lunge

Deficit reverse lunge is a lunge variation that implies the usage of a raised platform. Athletes like this exercise for many reasons.  This workout does not create unnecessary tension on the knees, helps eliminate muscular imbalance and develops stability. 

Thanks to the use of the platform, you can count on an increased range of motion. This fact promotes muscle hypertrophy and an excellent load of all targeted muscles. And finally, this is a non-trivial exercise that will definitely diversify any training routine.

What Muscles Does Deficit Reverse Lunge Work

The deficit reverse lunge works:

  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • quads
  • calves

The main focus is on glutes and hamstrings, as they start working immediately and perform most of the effort to return the body to its original position. The main feature of the exercise is an active engagement of the lower glutes. Also, due to the increased range, the movement keeps the muscle in tension much longer and improves the flexibility of the thighs.

How To Perform A Deficit Reverse Lunge

Step 1. Set up

You need a 6-inch box or special platform for your workout. It is the average height. If you are just a beginner, you should choose a 2-inch box. Have you been doing sports for a long time and are confident in your abilities? Prepare an 8-inch platform. The same goes for the dumbbells. Choose your weights depending on your fitness level, or do the exercise without them at all.

Step 2. Get into starting position

Grab a pair of dumbbells if you decide to use them in the exercise. Hold your arms along the body. Stand on the platform with your feet shoulder-width apart.

Step 3. Make a lunge

Transfer your weight to your left leg, raise your right foot off the box, and position it behind you. Then, do a lunge, lowering your leg to the floor. Keep your left foot flat and firm on the platform throughout the exercise. Remember that the working leg (the one that stays in front of you) is responsible for the momentum. Keep the shin relatively vertical. Slightly leaning forward might help to maintain the right balance. 

Step 4. Go back

Drive straight back, pushing through your working leg and returning your right foot to the starting position. Change legs and repeat the same process. 

Deficit Reverse Lunge Alternatives

Here are some alternatives to the exercise if you get bored of deficit reverse lunge and want to work your muscles with other movements.

1. Reverse Lunge 

It’s a great lower-body (quad and glute) workout since it builds strength, bulks you up, and improves your explosive power. We recommend mastering the reverse lunge technique perfectly before practicing deficit reverse lunge. This workout will prepare your muscles for an increased range of motion.

How to do a Reverse lunge:

  • Spread your feet to the width of your shoulders. Place your hands on your hips or behind your head.
  • Take a step back and bend your leg so that it forms a 90-degree angle with the ground. Maintain a powerful chest, a solid torso, and a straight back.
  • Remember to keep your back leg resting on the ball of your foot and your knee firmly beneath your spine.
  • Return to the starting position. Change the leg and repeat the movement. Move slowly if you want to gain muscles. Opt for a faster tempo if your main goal is developing explosive power.

2. Split Squat 

Athletes appreciate a split squat for a good reason. This workout tightens your hips and buttocks while also building volumetric quadriceps. The icing on the cake is a simple technique available for any fitness level.

How to do a Split squat:

  • Lunge forward from a standing position with a big stride and a slightly lifted heel of your back foot. 
  • Slowly lower your back knee until it almost touches the ground, then push yourself back up.
  • When you’ve finished all your reps on one leg, switch to the other and continue the exercise.

3. Cannonball Squat 

The cannonball squat‘s distinctive feature is the narrow legs’ position throughout the movement. The main focus is placed on quads. Practicing the cannonball squat will make your quadriceps stronger and improve your knee range of motion while reducing hip tension. The exercise also activates the adductor magnus and gluteus maximus.

How to do a Cannonball squat:

  • Stand with your legs in touch with one another. Maintain a pointed toe.
  • Keep an upright stance by crossing your knees over your toes. Do a deep squat.
  • Extend your legs to return to the starting position. 
  • This exercise may be done with or without a kettlebell. But if you are a beginner, perform the exercise with just your body weight.

4. 3-Way Lunge

The 3-way lunge is free weights exercise that primarily focuses on the quads while also targeting the calves, glutes, and hamstrings. Second, it activates hip flexors and outer thighs. The workout improves balance and coordination of the body and also boosts flexibility.

How to do a 3-Way lunge:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Put your hands on your head or on your hips.
  • Lunge forward, keeping your shoulders back, your core tight, and your back flat. Ensure you are at a 90-degree angle with your knees.
  • Return to the starting position and lunge to the side. Sit down on your working leg; the other one stays straight.
  • Return again, and lunge back. Maintain a tight core throughout the whole exercise.
  • Repeat the same thing on the other side.


Deficit reverse lunge is one of the best exercises for the glutes and hamstrings. This workout will help you load the lower glutes to the maximum and achieve muscle hypertrophy while also making your hips more flexible. You can perform the movement after any heavy lifts or use it as a warm-up before training. Deficit reverse lunge is a universal workout since any athlete can choose a suitable weight or platform height to practice it. The exercise has many alternatives if you want to try something new.