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Paige Waehner

Exercise of the Week - One-Legged Lunge on the Ball

By December 18, 2012

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If you're interested in working your butt a little more this week, this exercise will do it. Like traditional lunges, this move engages the glutes, quads and hamstrings. Unlike traditional lunges, however, this move not only challenges your balance, it engages the upper body, making this a whole body exercise.

I have to warn you, this is a tough exercise and you'll wobble all over the place the first time around. I recommend standing next to a rail or wall to hold onto as you practice this move. Try to keep your knee in line with the toe as you lunge and engage the abs to protect your back.

Do it right: Place the left foot/shin on the ball and hold a light weight in your right hand. Bend the right knee into a lunge as you roll the ball out with your left leg until it's straight and the front knee is bent to about 90 degrees (knee behind the toe). At the same time, reach the right hand out, keeping the abs engaged. Squeeze the right leg to roll the ball back to starting position. Repeat for 10-16 reps and switch sides.

One Legged Lunge One legged lunge

For more, check out this Lower Body Opposing Muscle Groups Workout.

December 26, 2006 at 10:11 am
(1) mont says:

Ms. Waehner,
This exercise looks like it could really hurt a persons back, even if done while keeping a straight back.
We are always taught to “squat” and use the leg muscles to pick things up and to NEVER bend over and pick up weight.
Kind of like doing dead lifts and making sure you keep your weight close to your body as to not strain your back. I see you are certified through ACE. Any other credentials??

December 26, 2006 at 11:52 am
(2) Rogue says:

I don’t think this is a safe exercise for anyone. It looks like a back breaker and balance killer.

December 26, 2006 at 2:37 pm
(3) JOYCE says:


December 26, 2006 at 3:12 pm
(4) Lilly says:

Are these people serious? These comments seem like a joke to me and maybe they’re from the same person. This exercise is fine and, in fact, it looks great for balance and strength. I’m always looking for new ways to do lunges and use my exercise ball, so I’ll definitely try this one. Obviously, someone with back problems may not like this exercise and they should either skip it or not hold any weight. But for healthy people, I think this is a great exercise. Keep up the great work!

December 26, 2006 at 3:15 pm
(5) Lilly says:

Oh, and I just wanted to add for that first person who commented – you’re not bending over to pick up the weight. You’re holding the weight and reaching out. I’m not a certified trainer so maybe I’m wrong here, but that weight seems light in the picture and it seems more for counterbalance than adding a lot of weight.

December 26, 2006 at 3:26 pm
(6) exercise says:

Thanks everyone for all the comments. As Lilly mentioned, if you have back problems or balance problems, this exercise may not be for you and you should always avoid any exercise that hurts or aggravates any previous injuries. The weight to be used should be light (3-5 pounds or so depending on your fitness level) and, again as Lilly mentioned, is more to help balance you and add a bit more intensity. (Thanks Lilly, :-) )

December 27, 2006 at 12:23 pm
(7) terry says:

The comments sound like comments on drivers. Anyone who is slower than you is an old lady….anyone faster than you is a maniac.

December 28, 2006 at 10:45 am
(8) Nelda says:

I think this exercise is fantastic, my legs are stronger than ever from this one. Great work guys, keep it up. It helps those of us who listen to have a better healthier life.

January 1, 2007 at 6:33 pm
(9) Debbie says:

Do not do the exercise if you have any concerns. I have tried many of the exercises on this site and have never had any trouble. I thank God for this site.

January 1, 2007 at 7:49 pm
(10) Cindy says:

As a personal trainer and fitness instructor for 10 years I can tell you I have used this exercise and many more like it with my advanced clients.It is fantastic for balnce and core work not to mention leg and glutes. And also the lady LILLY was correct in her response…

June 19, 2009 at 2:48 pm
(11) jsl says:

If you are able to do this exercise with PROPER FORM, then it will not hurt your back or throw off your balance. Maybe some of these people leaving comments need to work on their form.

December 19, 2012 at 8:48 am
(12) kitchenwench says:

I have done these for the last 3 years with my trainer. They are very effective and very good for balance. You naysayers need to find another page to heckle.

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