The Deficit Reverse Lunge
Perform this just as you would a regular reverse lunge, but instead of starting on the ground, begin by standing on a short box or other elevated surface. This requires your back leg to step to a lower plane of height as you lunge, and you'll get extra range of motion.
- Begin by standing on a box, weight plate, or step. Six inches high is about right.
- Drop into a lunge as you step backward off the box onto the ground.
- Drive your front foot into the box to pull yourself back to a standing position atop the box.
- Do the same number of reps on each leg.
- The front leg goes into more hip and knee flexion on the descent and therefore requires more extension at both joints to come out of the bottom.
- Stepping from box to ground requires more eccentric control than a reverse lunge done on the ground alone. That's a good thing when it comes to muscle growth.
- Being active and controlled on the eccentric phase automatically places emphasis on the front leg.
- Due to the increased range of motion and great emphasis on the front leg, you'll make better strength and mobility gains.
As you descend, "pull" yourself toward the ground into the lunge. This encourages you to be active on the way down, which allows you to use muscular tension to manage deceleration.
Make sure to keep the entire foot of the front leg on the box so force can be applied throughout the whole foot. It's easy to forget this and allow the heel to hang off the box.
Fully utilize the deficit by pulling your back knee all the way to the ground. If you were to stand on a box that's 4 inches high and only allowed your back knee to drop to a height 4 inches off the ground, you'd defeat the purpose of the deficit.