Unilateral strength drills such as an elevated reverse lunge are essential for athletes to train regularly. Why? Keep reading to learn why I have my athletes perform this drill for peak strength during the off-season.

Athlete Performs Elevated Reverse Lunge


As an athlete, you actually spent a whole lot of time working on just one leg. Whether it be sprinting down the field, jumping for a catch, or side stepping a tackle – a whole lot of these movements have you moving from one leg to another, just very quickly. This makes unilateral work so important, because it’s important for you to be able to hold strong and balance no matter what kind of landing you make.

The elevated reverse lunge focuses on building strength on one leg at a time to recruit maximum muscle tissue and balance. Having your foot up a bit higher in front allow you to move through an ever greater range of motion. I also like to keep the weight in just the front half of the foot as well to prepare you for all types of landings in competition.

Read this post for more unilateral strength drills.

How to do an elevated reverse lunge?

Begin with dumbbells in hand if you’re using resistance and set up with a short plyo box in front of you (it should only be a few inches high off the floor). Put the front half of one foot on the plyo box with the back foot supporting you. From here, lunge forward into the front leg, allowing the knee to come over or just past the toes.

Watch how to do an elevated reverse lungeย here.

Common Mistakes

You’re better off trying this with no weights or resistance to start, than moving without great form. Focus on quality then quantity whether it comes to reps or resistance.


Elevated reverse lunges are one of my favorite supplemental strength drills to add onto a lower body training session. Use these in combination with a compound exercise such as trap bar deadlift to get best strength results. Go for 3 sets of 8-10 reps on each leg depending on your goals.

Athlete Performs Reverse Lunge

Ultimately your programming should reflect whatever point youโ€™re at in the season, and your overall goals for that cycle of training. You have multiple options when it comes to choosing deadlift variations for athletes, so I recommend starting with a solid program to guide you through using each.

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