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Fitness Tip Tuesday – Cable Side-lunge

By April 24, 2012April 16th, 201413 Comments

Cable Side-lunge

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The cable side lunge is a great compound exercise. Add the cable for extra resistance.

Muscles Targetted:

Adductor muscles, gluteus maximus, Abductors and the quadriceps. Hamstrings, soleus, obliques and gastrocnemius are also invloved in this movement.

How To Preform:

1. Stand with feet about shoulder-width apart, cable in right hand.
2. Contract your abdominals and keep chest up and look forward, neutral spine.
3. Step out to the right. The further you step (lunge), the more the glutes are engaged, the shorter you step, the more emphasis is placed on the quadriceps. Your right knee and hip should be at a 90-degree angle. Your left leg should be straight.
4. Keeping your torso upright the whole time, exhale and return to the start position with an explosive push-off the right leg.


-toes should always be in line with the knee,
-inhale in start position, exhale when returning to start position
-keep feet flat on the floor
-maintain a neutral spine with torso kept upright

**Try 3 sets of 12 per leg in your next leg workout.



Join the discussion 13 Comments

  • Lisa says:

    I do a similiar exercise, but my leg that is doing the lunging action is on a movable carriage of sorts with resistance…..(pilates reformer) I was always wondering if that was a good exercise.

  • lindsey says:

    So, you pull the cable out quite far so the stack is lifted up to start then lunge near the machine until the stack is in the down position and the cable goes slack? Then push off with the leg? Is the arm straight the whole time and how much weight are you using? I know it’s different for each person but it would be good to know what you are using just as a guideline. I used your other one with the cable when you were on a bench and extended the hip outwards, which was really good. What weight did you use for that? Thanks Flavia, I love your posts!

    • Flavia says:

      Hey Lindsey, that is totally correct. I beleive I used 12.5 on this cable…every cable has different pulleys that makes the weight different with each machine…but go for a weight that you can do at least 8 with and one that you can comfortably explode up from the lunge, this may have to be quite lighter than you think.

      If you are taking about the hip extensions cable exercise, that one I only use 7.5ish weight and usually I put that at the end of the workout when my glutes and legs are fatigued. You want to lift heavier if you are trying to build and do 6-8 reps…if you are looking to lose fat I would do 12ish reps. Varying week to week is the best practice.

  • Kerry says:

    How would you do this at home if you don’t have a cable machine?

    • Flavia says:

      Simple a regular lateral lunge. You can hold dumbbells in both hands. The key to hitting the glutes is doing a wide lunge and pushing up through your heels. Also focus on making it an explosive movement.

  • sara says:

    If we dont have access to a cable, can we do this with a dumbell in the hand on the same side of the leg that is doing the lunge? I do your exercise of lunge front, side, back with a dubmell bicept curl. Just wondering if the weigh coming from the side makes a difference on how the gutes and thighs are worked. Thanks

    • Flavia says:

      Yes a dumbbell will work. The cable adds extra resistance so you will lose that but a dumbbell will still be effective.

  • Ann from Australia says:

    Is this ok for intermediate people? I feel like this is something you do once you actually have quite muscley legs. I’ve been following a 12-week challenge and have lost 8Kgs and am quite trim now, developing muscles. Legs are my last area to really tone up (eg I still have a bit of fat around those areas, and although they are ‘skinnier’ they are no where near muscley/toned as your legs, Flav!). So is this exercise something you do to ‘really shape’ the legs that are already quite toned, or could I do them as well to get that way? I tried them today and felt my foot that I was stepping out with, would really slip/slide sideways – should I be pointing the toes out? Anyhow, thanks for all your work-out videos! I love them!

    • Flavia says:

      Hey Ann! Great job on the 12-week challenge. You can do this exercise to lose fat or shape the legs. If you want to add some muscle you can do that with heavier isolation type exercise so this exercise isn’t really for building but it is for shaping! Yes point your toe out a bit if it is more comfortable, just make sure your knee follows the direction of the toe.

  • Dawn says:

    Hi Flavia, I just found your site and I just want to say it’s aweome! Been looking for something like this for a while. I was partiularly searching on your site for good leg/glute workouts. I am very pleased to see a lot of lateral moves like these lunges. I have bad knees (chondromalacia patella). I used to just do xband and clam shells and that helped, but now I seem to need more all around muscle strengthening. Have you ever had knee problems and if so, what specific moves would you recommend? I just started incorporated more one legged moves, bulgarian split squats, one legged squats, presses and curls, but it’s slow going. I think I might have to work on some certain moves every day to get over the hump. Thanks for any feedback!!

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