How To Do The Lunge To Press

Dumbbell lunge and press
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Combination moves like the lunge to overhead press are a great way to increase the amount of muscles you target during a workout when short on time. It’s not hard to see why doing one of the best leg exercises and one of the best shoulder exercises in one go is good for you, but actually combining the two brings with it extra benefits you might not expect, such as an increased workload for your core muscles as well as a bonus cardio challenge.

Below you’ll find a full run-down of the benefits of the move and a form guide for the lunge to press, so you can upgrade your dumbbell workouts with one of the best full-body exercises.

Lunge To Press Benefits

Weighted lunges work all the major muscle groups in the lower body to some extent, with the quads and glutes doing most of the work. Your core is also engaged to keep your body stable during the exercise, and even more so when combining lunges with presses, since lifting the weights above your head introduces more instability to your upper body.

The overhead press hits the shoulders, triceps and upper back in particular, though it also engages your pecs. Doing the lunge to press thus works large muscles throughout the body, which in turn will get your heart pumping and introduce some cardiovascular benefits as well.

How To Do The Lunge To Press

Stand with your back straight, feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointing forwards. Hold the dumbbells either side of your head with your palms facing forwards. Brace your core muscles and step forwards into a lunge, lowering until both knees are bent at a 90° angle. Your rear knee should end up close to the floor and your front knee shouldn’t go past your front foot.

Stay in the lunge position and press the weights overhead until your arms are straight. Bring the weights back down to your shoulders and push back up to standing, then lunge forwards on the other leg. Throughout the move make sure you keep your core muscles engaged so your back is straight, and keep your head up with your gaze forwards.

Nick Hutchings worked for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Nick worked as digital editor from 2008 to 2011, head of content until 2014, and finally editor-in-chief until 2015.

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