This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
Side lunges concentrate the power of a squat in a single leg, while developing the adductors and abductorsthe muscles that help you go side-to-side, and which are often neglected in standard lunge and squat-based workouts. Adding the shoulder press after each lunge turns this into an upper- and lower-body workout.
Stand upright with feet shoulder-width apart and dumbbells in both hands. Bend your elbows and bring the dumbbells to your shoulders, with your palms facing each other (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, step your left foot out into a side lunge. Press your hips back behind your bent left leg as your right leg extends straight to the side. The toes of both feet should be pointing forward throughout, and the weights should remain at your shoulders (see Photos 2 and 3).
- From the bottom of your lunge, drive hard off of your bent left leg to bring yourself back to the starting position (see Photos 4 and 5).
- Next perform a shoulder press, pressing the weights straight up from the shoulder until your arms are straight overhead. Your palms should stay facing each other throughout (see Photo 6).
- Lower your arms back to the starting position, following the same trajectory you used to raise them (see Photo 7).
- From the starting position again, step out to the right in a side lunge, now pressing your hips back behind your bent right leg, and keeping your left leg extended (see Photo 8). Use the same firm push to bring yourself back to the starting position, and again do a shoulder press.
- Continue to alternate sides with the lunges, and alternate the lunges with shoulder presses, until you have done the recommended number of each.