I find forward lunges slightly uncomfortable for my knees. Today I tried reverse ones, trying to emulate exactly the execution I saw on several YT videos. But on every single rep I found it MORE uncomfortable for my knees than forward lunges, not LESS. Is it possible or true that reverse lunges are easier on knees for some people only?

  • Forward lunges,specially if weighted deliver a lot of impact on the knee. I'm not sure how much damage it can cause but virtually everyone finds it uncomfortable. Reverse lunges simply solve this problem by eliminating any impact on the knee. I don't really know why you are finding reverse lunges more uncomfortable... Maybe just try doing split squats or curtsy lunges.
    – Ekaen
    Apr 4, 2018 at 20:05

2 Answers 2


In theory forward lunges mainly build up quads, while reverse are mainly targeting hamstrings. In practice that highly depends on how you do your exercise.

Both exercises are static, so do them slowly. For forward lunges - just move one leg forward, and then go down with back leg's knee - slowly. Remember to maintain back straight, do not lean forward. Start with no weights, and use mirror to see if things goes OK. There are two things to watch - first is back, second - knee of front leg. Keep it over your foot, and do not move forward behind toes. When you go down, your knee moves forward, and then back - that should be steady, slow movement, without bump at changing direction. Usually that is problematic moment. Other point. Try to feel what is going on, and not to rely on mirror too much. To see what is going on - you need to turn your head, which ruins posture.

That is not natural move for knee, so kind of discomfort is normal at start. If that is uncomfortable, then do 2-3 reps between other exercises. Just be sure that there is no pain, also it is good idea to ask trainer at your gym if you do it right.


I've had a better experience with less knee discomfort by doing reverse lunges. Mainly because the foot your not moving is already planted to the ground so it won't strain the knee too much.

Here is an article supporting my claim: http://www.stack.com/a/why-reverse-lunges-are-better-than-forward-lunges

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