Starting Position: Stand with your feet parallel, hip-width apart. Your hands are in a comfortable position to help you maintain your balance during the exercise. Keep your head over your shoulder and your chin tipped and slightly upward. Shift your weight onto your heels. Engage your abdominals to stabilized the spine. Pull the shoulder blades down and back. Try to maintain these engagements throughout the exercise.
Inhale and slowly step to the right while keeping your weight into your left heel. Both feet are still facing forward. Once your right foot is firmly placed on the floor, begin to shift your weight toward the right foot, bending the right knee and pushing the hips back. Continue to lunge until your shinbone is vertical to the floor and your right knee is aligned with the second toe of your right foot. Your left leg should be as straight as possible and your body weight should be distributed into the right hip. The heels of both feet should stay flat on the floor. Your arms can be positioned where necessary to help maintain your balance.
Exhale and push off firmly with your right foot, returning to starting position. Repeat the movement for the opposite side.
Exercise variation: Reaching for your right foot with your left hand will emphasize hip flexion (alternate with the right hand reaching for the left foot).
A common mistake when performing a side lunge is that individuals often step too wide and are unable to align the shinbone over the placed foot and the knee falls inside the foot. In this case, simply take a smaller step to allow you to align the shinbone over the placed foot.