Whats better: Squats or Lunges?
My friend and personal trainer Rita Demetriou and I went through a squat workout
During the course of the workout, Rita had mentioned that
another trainer she respected was a big advocate of teaching
squats, rather than lunges.
He said that squats were better than lunges.
She thought I would agree.
Coming from an old school strength training background, I have
a bias towards squats and tend to favor them in my own workouts.
But that decision is more emotionally-driven. Squatting heavy
makes me feel like I’m 18 years old again.
It’s fun to put that bar on your back, drop down into a squat, and
explode up, and hear the plates on each side shake. It’s makes
you feel powerful.
But if I truly get into the pros and cons (there’s not many cons for
either movement), I’d have to pick lunges as the more beneficial
A couple simple reasons:
1) I believe lunges are easier on the back (especially for people
with a history of low-back problems)
2) I like the fact that lunges work each leg independantly. I’d venture
to say that it wouldn’t be uncommon for a person who uses squats
predominately to have some imbalances between the right and left legs.
But with that being said, here are a couple other points:
3) I use BOTH squats and lunges in virtually every fitness program
4) If someone has knee issues, I’ll usually start them with step-ups, rather
than lunges. If someone thinks that they are too old or too deconditioned
to squat or lunge, step-ups are a reasonable place to start. I’ve seen people
improve dramatically on step-ups within short periods of time, build their
confidence, and then move to squats and lunges.
So if you are not squatting, start.
And if you are not lunging, start.
If you are afraid to start with either of those, do step-ups.
If you don’t do anything, your legs will weaken over time and you will reach
a moment when it’s hard to get up out of a chair, or do anything else, for
I’m not trying to scare you. It’s just the truth.
If you want to move confidently, you must have strong legs. And to have
strong legs, you need to work them. And more often is usually better than
So do yourself a favor, and if you haven’t been doing any leg exercise, pick
squats, lunges, or step-ups and do some today. Do not wait. Do them
today and begin moving forward.
Now it’s your turn, which one do you favor in your own workouts?