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The Difference Between Squats and Lunges

The Square-Off: Squats vs. Lunges!

Although squats and lunges are both key for a toned backside and legs, there are slight differences between the two. To maximize effectiveness and prevent injury, it's important you know the specifics of each exercise and do them just right. Compare the differences between the two, and see which one is right for you!

Lunges

Rather than the up and down motion of a squat, lunges require a step forward or backward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Because lunges involve the transfer of weight to one leg, they are a test of balance, especially when using weights, meaning your core gets a workout too! And depending on the variation, lunges can also allow for an increased focus on the glutes or inner thighs; do side lunges to work your hips or reverse lunges to counter the forward movements of everyday life. Bonus: lunges offer something that most exercises don't — a good stretch! Depending on your depth and range of motion, lunges help to increase flexibility in your hips.

Squats

If you're just starting to get your backside into shape, then consider squats your go-to exercise. Because they are a functional movement, squats are a good introduction to the weight room; it's easy to add weight or resistance to the exercise, which quickly helps to increase strength. Since the weight is distributed onto your heels when doing squats, the exercise requires less balance than lunges. Instead, doing a squat is much like sitting down in a chair, making them a great exercise for working the glutes and hamstrings. Turn squats into a quick cardio workout by adding jumps, or challenge your core with the addition of a BOSU ball. Whatever you decide, expect to build a firm backside in no time!

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Remember, when doing both squats and lunges, it is important to pay close attention to your form. Because these two exercises are hard on the knees, proper posture is important. Keep your knees positioned behind your toes and over the ankles. If you you suddenly feel pain, then adjust the exercise or try a different variation until the pain gets better.

Source: Megan Wolfe Photography

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