If you’ve been in any Survivor Bootcamp session, you’ve definitely been exposed to both squats and lunges, the quintessential leg exercises. While you undoubtedly hate one of these two movements (especially when they become part of a compound exercise – like the squat part in a burpee), both squats and lunges are ideal for building leg strength! (As we age, we NEED to squat if we are planning on using the toilet HA!)
A squat can be performed in various ways: by using a barbell, holding dumbbells at the sides, or even with a Swiss Ball or with no added weight at all! Squats, especially when performing them with weights, tend to place a considerable amount of stress on the back and knees which could easily lead to injury if not performed properly.
Lunges can also be performed in a variety of ways, with some variations being more challenging than others. A standard lunge is performed by alternating each leg and remaining stationary. A more challenging version is the walking lunge, in which you walk across a room in lunging form. If you have knee issues, consider doing a static lunge during which one foot is already planted and you only perform the lunging movement with that leg before switching sides.
Both lunges and squats are considered to be strengthening exercises. The primary muscles that are being worked during lunges are the quadriceps, but the calves, glutes and hamstrings are also engaged and worked. The same muscles are being engaged during a squat, but squats offer the added bonus of working the lower back.
Whether you are looking to create powerful muscular legs, or if you simply want to tone things up, both lunges and squats should be incorporated into your workouts. Thankfully, you’ll have the guidance of a Survivor Bootcamp trainer to make sure that you get the best leg workouts possible and you’ll develop your own love/hate relationship with squats and lunges!!!! OUCH!
If you need to know more benefits of exercise, the Government of Canada has some great articles HERE