Squats Vs Lunges: Which One Should You Choose?

When it comes to shaping, toning, and increasing the muscle mass in your legs, squats and lunges reign supreme. These lower body compound movements are useful for building strength, burning calories, and for improving performance, balance, and coordination (via Byrdie). With many variations of both exercises, they are beneficial for those looking to target specific muscle groups, like booty building or quadricep strength (per Vogue).

When it comes to choosing one over the other, celebrity trainer Robert Brace tells Byrdie "A mixture of both exercises is ideal for hitting the same muscles in slightly different ways, stimulating the body to respond by increasing muscle strength and tone." The exercises do have their individual functions, but utilizing both movements is optimal for strengthening and shaping the lower body.

Personal trainer Laura Flynn Endres, founder of the online team fitness game, Get Fit Done, believes both exercises can enhance your fitness routine-when properly performed. She tells Byrdie"Once you're able to perform both exercises properly and with perfect form, you should consider a combination of the two in your routine, such as a squat variation and a split stance exercise like lunges or step-ups, in order to work the lower body and the core at once."

Varying opinions

Not all experts agree that both excercises are necessary; for instance, celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak says when it comes to glute building, he prefers lunges (via Women's Health). Pasternick, who has trained superstars Rihanna and Lady Gaga, says, "There's a million glute exercises out there, but that doesn't mean there's a million good glute exercises," and he goes on to say that with a lunge, "you're getting a deeper range of motion than you would with a squat, so your glute has to work harder."

Although Pasternick says eliminating the squat completely from your workout is fine, not all trainers agree, as Mumbai-based fitness coach Bhavna Harchandrai tells Vogue she prefers squats, especially for beginners or those looking to activate the glutes. She says, "Squats are more balanced than lunges and lunges need more coordination which is why squats are better for beginners."

Whether the squat or lunge is better for you is a question that has been under scrutiny for quite some time, however, the result always seems to be the same, being, both of these movements can strengthen and shape your lower body, improve your balance, and benefit your health.