Also called a front lunge press, the dumbbell lunge press is basically a lunge combined with an overhead press. It can be performed with dumbbells in one or both hands and with a front or reverse lunge. This exercise is not only a great stability challenge and a full body strength exercise it is a great conditioning challenge and perfect for incorporating into conditioning days. Heavy weights are not required to make this exercise demanding.
The most common version of the exercise involves the following basic steps.
1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and one or two dumbbells at your shoulders, in an overhead press or “racked” position (same position you would hold the dumbbells in for a dumbbell front squat).
2. Step forward into a front lunge while simultaneously pressing the dumbbell(s) overhead. Alternatively, use a reverse lunge and step back into a lunge position while pressing the dumbbell(s) overhead.
3. Return to the starting position using a proper lunge technique while simultaneously lowering the dumbbell(s) back to the starting position.
This basic version is good for conditioning or as a secondary exercise to bring additional challenge and stability requirements to a basic lunge.
When using only one dumbbell you have the option of having the dumbbell on the side of the working leg or non-working leg. Although either choice can be quite challenging choosing the non-working side presents an added stability challenge since the load is offset from the primary base of support (working leg). This can also be done using a lateral lunge.
Dumbbell Lunge Press Overhead Version
The overhead lunge dumbbell press is a modified version the dumbbell lunge press in which the dumbbell is held in the overhead press position while returning to the starting position. The difference between this exercise and the Overhead Lunge is that the dumbbell is pressed while lunging whereas in the overhead lunge the dumbbell(s) or barbell is held overhead in the same position as a bilateral overhead squat throughout.
Follow steps 1 and 2 above and then:
3. Return to the starting position while maintaining the dumbbell in the pressed overhead position. Take care to keep the dumbbell in the same position relative to the torso and head and return upright while trying to keep your torso stable (not leaning forward, back, or weaving).
4. Once standing in the upright (starting) position lower the dumbbell back to the shoulder.
You can also do the press part of the exercise from the bottom position instead of simultaneously while lunging, using a front or reverse lunge. The dumbbell(s) can then be held overhead while returning to the upright position, mimicking an overhead dumbbell lunge.