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Squats/DL's instead of lunges? - silly question maybe


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I've been working out for a few months again now, not getting nearly half as much work in as I want, but making do with the time I've got. Anyway, I've been steadily training legs by doing squats and lunges. Squats with barbells, lunges with dumbbells. Any case, the problem is, I hate lunges! Can't get them right, don't like my form and my balance is far from great. Besides, you're training one leg at the time, and after 1 set of 1 leg each I'm well fed up. Now I'm not too great a fan of DL's either, if anything because I've 'pinged' my back a couple of times and I'm now quite worried about doing something like that again, but I would prefer them to lunges. Now how would DL's relate to lunges for working legs and would you want to do them during the same workout as squats? I realise I might be comparing apples to pears and make no sense, but I would really appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks!

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Squats/lunges are quite similar in the muscles they work, so you wouldn't really miss lunges much if you ditched them and squatted heavier. Deadlifts work a lot of muscles, but won't hit your legs as hard as squats/lunges.

 

I imagine simply squats/calf raises would do as much as you need for legs, but deadlifts are always a good exercise to do

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I'm sorry but I got to disagree with you on this chewybars. Deadlifts are a great leg exercise, hitting the glutes and hamstrings harder then squatting would, while squatting is more quad dominant. I'd suggest doing them on different days for best effect, but you can do them during the same work out and still get great results. Lunges also focus more on the hamstring then a squat does, I believe, so deadlifts should be a good replacement. I'd say deadlifts are even better overall.

Good Luck!

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Thanks for your feedback guys, much appreciated!

Lobsterrific - I've tried doing static lunges, but they don't feel right either

I shall now replace lunges with DL's much more satisfying I reckon!

I need to limit my gym sessions to 2 a week, so I'm doing a split of legs and back on day 1 and rest of upper body on day 2. I'd imagine that if I'd fit rows or lat pulldowns in between the squats and DL's, my legs will get enough of a break to reasonably recover between the 2. On the other hand I can add DL's to my upper body workout, seeing as that won't have an effect on the rest of my work out. I'll faff around a bit (again!) and see how it goes. Thanks again, much appreciated!

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Squats, deadlifts & lunges are all superb exercises as we all know. Pinging your back with DL meant that you were lifting with incorrect form/poor technique/too heavy. Ease back on the weights and work your technique to perfection before lifting heavier. Best wishes.

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As a matter of fact I once pinged my back lifting and handing over a crate of oranges to someone who was stood too far back, and once trying to lift my dog off a low wall that he couldn't jump off himself: I started to lift, dog moved away. I'd hope that neither of these situations will apply to a barbell

I know what you mean though, and I try to always be very much aware of my form. I'm just slightly insecure about lifting weights where my back is involved, because I know I'll suffer for it for a week when I make a mistake. Will take it very easy on the weight first time I do DL's (today! ), just to get a feel for it again. Thanks!

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I've been working out for a few months again now, not getting nearly half as much work in as I want, but making do with the time I've got. Anyway, I've been steadily training legs by doing squats and lunges. Squats with barbells, lunges with dumbbells. Any case, the problem is, I hate lunges! Can't get them right, don't like my form and my balance is far from great. Besides, you're training one leg at the time, and after 1 set of 1 leg each I'm well fed up. Now I'm not too great a fan of DL's either, if anything because I've 'pinged' my back a couple of times and I'm now quite worried about doing something like that again, but I would prefer them to lunges. Now how would DL's relate to lunges for working legs and would you want to do them during the same workout as squats? I realise I might be comparing apples to pears and make no sense, but I would really appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks!

 

I got a really good piece of advice once. It went something like this: "For every person, there is usually an exercise that they hate. Whatever that exercise is that you dread doing, that is the exercise that you should do every week without fail." The reasoning is that there is a reason you hate the exercise. It is because you are weak in it, so it is really hard. Thus, it is identifying for you exactly the muscles most in need of work.

 

I used to hate sit-ups. I followed this advice and now have no problem with heavy weighted situps. I thought my stomach was strong then until I tried the Plank Hover. Ohhhh... I hated the plank hover until I did it for a while. Now I can do it for 6 minutes without wanting to kill myself to end it. Anyway, it sounds like you need to keep doing lunges (and maybe I need to start... I have never really done them. Maybe I'll hate them too.)

 

You also asked about deadlift:

IMPORTANT: You absolutely must learn to do deadlift right, and you must learn what weights are safe, before going aggressively into deadlifting.

 

That said, deadlift is an incredibly good exercise. It is well worth learning how to do it safely, and then doing it. In one exercise, you work out the entire posterior chain. There is nothing else like it for getting results out of your time and effort.

 

Do your own research too, but here's my advice on deadlifting:

1) Use YouTube! Don't trust any single source. However, you can watch several videos on how to deadlift properly in a short amount of time. It will become clear who to trust and who not to.

2) Start light and progress slowly. If you think you can do 200 pounds, start with 100. Unless that just feels silly light to you, increase by no more than 10% per week. At 10% per week, you'll be back at 200 in 9 weeks. And you will have your form down much better by then, and will be able to judge the weight much better.

3) Shoot video of yourself and review it. Are you keeping your back straight? Letting it curve under the weight is a danger sign. If your back is curving, hold the weight steady (or lower it) until you get that under control. Then start increasing again.

 

Good luck!

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Thanks for your replies!

I've started DL'ing during my last workout; doing DL's and upper body while keeping the squats for my lower body workout day - and yup, they do hit my hamstrings!

 

HumanJHawkins - appreciate the advice man! A 6 min plank is WELL impressive! I just really really REALLY hate lunges! And I'm lifting primarily to shape up and increase strength, so to be honest I don't care too much about what I'm doing, as long as it's effective and I enjoy it. If doing a handstand for an hour would be effective and I'd enjoy standing upside down for an hour I'd do that instead (we all know that handstands are useful for many a thing, but for developing quads/hamstrings they ain't ). I'm also very particular when it comes to form, I know what you mean, and I make sure I'm DL'ing with good form. I might still be lifting a bit on the light side, just because I'd rather have close to perfect form than lifting a few lbs more

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