Squats and lunges are the two most popular and common lower body workouts. Both are foundational exercises that help to build overall muscle mass while improving performance and strength. It is easy to incorporate both of them into your workout routine if you are dedicating a single day to target lower body muscles. But on days when you don’t have time for an elaborate workout routine, you want to focus on exercises that will give the maximum benefits. Though both the exercises are more or less the same, one is slightly superior to the other. Here we will tell you which lower body exercise is better: Lunges or Squats.
Both lunges and squats help you target the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. However, lunges activate the gluteus medius muscle when you move your leg and try to balance your body weight. Your adductor and core muscles are also involved in stabilizing your body when performing side lunges. But squatting even works on your erector spine, abs, and obliques.
Which one is easier?
If you have just dived into the world of fitness, you should first master squats. Squatting is easier as compared to lunges for newbies. That’s because there are several daily activities where we have to squat like sitting on a chair or picking up heavy loads. It is easier and we are more familiar with it. In lunges, you have to balance your body weight on one leg. This can be tricky for many in the beginning and can lead to muscle strain or injury. If you want to do lunges in the beginning then start with reverse lunges.
Which one is better?
Opinions are divided when it comes to choosing between lunges and squats. Some people prefer to squat because it is easier to do and is less risky than lunges. Squats can also help you target upper body muscles and activate more lower-body muscles. You can use a kettlebell, barbell, or dumbbell to make it more challenging.
However, another set of fitness experts believe that lunges can help in correcting strength imbalance between the two legs. As we all know that one side of your body is stronger than the other (dominant and non-dominant sides), performing exercises like squatting where both the legs are involved at once, it’s really hard to tell which side is exerting more effort. Eventually, your dominating side will continue to get stronger, the weaker side will remain weak. Lunging is the best to overcome this problem. Lunges are iso-lateral exercises, which means one side moves at one time. This can help to correct strength imbalance.
What should you choose?
Our recommendation is to perform both exercises on a regular basis. If that is not possible, then do them on alternate days. Both are excellent lower body exercises and have a range of health benefits. If you want to choose one, then first evaluate your end objective and then make a decision. If you are a beginner, squatting is the best. In case you want to strengthen your overall body, then go for lunging.