When it comes to lower body exercises, there are few words – aside from perhaps burpees – that can make someone want to go home from the gym faster than squats and lunges. But, like burpees, they come with some exceptional benefits.
It’s for this reason that you really shouldn’t be skipping the squats and lunges among your lower body exercises when your personal trainer recommends them to you. These two exercises each have their own benefits and drawbacks, but for most people, the results they provide is well worth the effort, sweat and occasional grunting sound.
These lower body exercises are amazing for leg building. Neither is better than the other one, but they each have their own unique strengths for helping you to reach your goals. Consider the following about these exercises to help motivate you to push your way through them.
The squat is a fantastic move regardless of your fitness level, from beginner to expert, particularly as they can be modified to suit your level of flexibility, strength and mobility. They can be altered, for example, by using a balance ball or hand weights. You work your glutes, inner thighs, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves with these challenging sitting-like moves. They require you to lower yourself as though you were going to take a seat on a chair, keep your balance, and raise yourself up again.
A lunge, on the other hand, requires less balance and more coordination from their stepping forward motion. Lunges provide less of an overall impact and more of a specific targeted muscles. Lunges help to build powerful, skilled movements in a number of different directions. Short lunges and longer lunges provide different targeting. Shorter lunges target the quadriceps while the longer lunges focus more on the glutes. Side lunges focus on the inner thigh and outer thigh muscles. These exercises require you to have greater stabilization from the leg and core muscles, so, to a lesser extent, they also work the obliques and the quadrates lumborum.
Both of these moves can help you to build strength and lean muscle, which is great for overall health, injury prevention and even weight management. These exercises promote balance and flexibility as well as coordination. Practicing these moves a couple of times per week can help you to see meaningful progress in your lower body fitness. Therefore, despite the fact that they’re more than likely not your favorite exercises to do, they’re well worth doing.