Home Baseball Content Strength Exercise of the Week: DB Goblet Lateral Lunge

Strength Exercise of the Week: DB Goblet Lateral Lunge

Written on April 23, 2012 at 7:14 pm, by Eric Cressey

It goes without saying that poor adductor length is a huge problem in many of the athletes I encounter, particularly those participating in sports (e.g., hockey, soccer, baseball) involving a lot of extension and rotation.  As a result, we always spend a lot of time with self myofascial release, static stretching, and mobility exercises for the adductors.

As I’ve written in the past, though, after you transiently reduce stiffness in a tissue, you want to build some stability through that newfound range-of-motion.  Unfortunately, it isn’t exactly easy to load folks up in the frontal plane, and some folks still won’t be able to get in to a lateral lunge position without pitching forward.  Enter the Dumbbell Goblet Lateral Lunge, which borrows the “counterbalancing” benefits we see with a traditional goblet squat to allow us to get back “into” the hip and build some longer-term mobility in the frontal plane.

I don’t worry about folks really loading this up; in fact, form tends to break down a bit if you go heavier than 40 pounds with the dumbbell.  We’ll usually include it as the last exercise on a lower-body day, for 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps.

We spend a lot of time focusing on building strength and power, but a lot of times, movement quality gets overlooked.  Here’s an exercise that helps you to improve the latter without forgetting the former.  Give it a shot and let me know how it goes!

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17 Responses to “Strength Exercise of the Week: DB Goblet Lateral Lunge”

  1. Jon DiCandilo Says:

    How do you know if the adductors are weak? Are you comparing them to a ratio of the abductors? I have a football player that consistently adducts when graded by the FMS hurdle step. Is there a way to objectively determine where the weakness is for him?


  2. Mike Swole Says:

    That split-rock back is great for opening up the hips.

    What do you think of something like cossack squats (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuB056L2Fas) for improving adductor length and overall stability?

  3. Jeff Johnson Says:

    Hey Eric, what perfect timing! I would have thought you had MD in mind! This will help him with his HIRD and give me some insight on additional things I can tell clients with similar issues. Tomorrow is our day to work out the lower half so we will incorporate this at the end of the workout as you’ve suggested. I’m thinking we will also need to incorporate some good tissue work. With the extra motivation he received this weekend, he performed some deep tissue work for his arm from finger tip to rear deltoid for over an hour! Hopefully he’ll have the same dedication with his lower half tomorrow.

    Thanks again for such a timely posting.

  4. Michelle Says:

    Awesome! Thanks Eric. I will start incorporating this with my clients. I appreciate the great content. You da’ Man!

  5. Rob Says:

    Funny, I just finished up with a client using this exercise! He’s one of the more immobile, inflexible people I’ve worked with. This is one of those movements that keeps his hips from locking up completely 😉

  6. Stacey Says:

    I’ve had non-stop issues with my left adductor for nearly two years now, and pattelofemeral issues as far back as I can remember. I’ve been to my pt 3 times (4th time coming up) and never discussed my knees. Yet, she says my adductor issue is because my left hip keeps riding up (apparently, originally knocked out of whack from a bad jump or landing I can’t recall). It was 1-1/2″ higher than the right in our first meeting and keeps returning to that spot every time I try to start back to training. Do you think my hip and knee issues both arise from the same source? I meet with her again May 2. What to do…

  7. Brian Hannah Says:

    Thanks I love this Eric. I’ve been finding tight adductors lately on a few athletes and they love the way they feel when it is loosened up. I also go right into gentle strengthening through that range, good to hear you do this also! Seems to make the range stay open longer and feel better. Keep em coming, can’t get enough!

  8. Eric Cressey Says:

    I like the premise of the cossack squats with chains in the video, but the positioning of the load makes it harder to get deeper into the bottom position without lumbar flexion. I like the idea of adding the load in the front better.

  9. Eric Cressey Says:

    Jon – I don’t think adductor weakness is the issue here. Can’t really say that I’ve ever seen it, as folks generally heavily overuse the adductor magnus relative to the gluteus maximus during hip extension. However, the muscles that both adduct AND flex the hip may need direct training (pectinous, adductor brevis).

  10. Eric Cressey Says:


    Tough to say, although this blog post would be a good start:


    Follow it up with glute activation and I like your chances. Don’t see a lot of females who are truly “short” in this area; they just lack stiffness elsewhere. And, of course, after a previous strain, tissue quality may be an issue.

    Good luck!

  11. Hollister Says:

    This is great. I integrated some of this last season with some high school in-season baseball guys and it was something that gained interest and time by many of the guys. Body weight during warm-ups and recovery and external load in the strength room. I need to revisit the greatness of this exercise with some of my track guys. Thanks Eric!

  12. Dan Pope Says:

    Nice exercises Eric, I especially like the groin mobilization. I use that one quite a bit and find that its great for warming up for a squat workout.

  13. Marc Says:

    Great post! Where was this back in my soccer days?

  14. Kevin Says:

    Is vertical shin not critical in this movement? It seems to be in most all other lunge/split squat/etc….

  15. Terry Pratt Says:

    Eric , as 45yr old hockey player it’s information like this that allows me to play multiple games weekly without pain . Adductor problems are a epidemic in hockey , a testament to your knowledge is that a book I just finished on hockey training by Kevin Neeld is filled with concepts he credits you with creating . Thanks my friend .

  16. Eric Cressey Says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I don’t think it’s absolutely essential, but you want to be at least close to it.

  17. Conor Says:

    Great post again Eric! Being a hockey player and training athletes that are 90% hockey players, this is great information to take back to training. I use the lateral lunge all the time, but the mobility drills are money!

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