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The King of Leg Exercises is lunges or squats?


Which do you think is the king of all leg exercises?  

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In my lower back injury days, I'd say legpress because that was all I could do.

 

I think Squats are KING, and I'm on my 4th week of doing them again after a 3 year absence due to injuries.

 

It's great to be home, in squat land.

 

I think lunges, legpress, and hiking steep hills are great too.

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Hee hee!

 

Everybody, note by the way that I said proper exercise for legs, not ass. I think lunges beat squats in that department. or maybe i just feel that way because lunges are always more challenging for me than are squats. But lunges are also a killer on the knees, which sucks cuz lunges are my number # 1 choice of exercise for lower body.

 

So you all think that properly executed squats are more challenging then a properly executed lunge? Maybe it is my knees then that make the lunge more challenging. Maybe i have crappy knees.

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I think that squats yield the greatest results in leg development and overall strength and muscle development. Yeah, lunges are tough, sometimes I fall over when doing them carrying dumbbells, but I think squats are the best overall.

 

As always, a good mixture of exercises is the best recipe

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But lunges are also a killer on the knees, which sucks cuz lunges are my number # 1 choice of exercise for lower body.

 

I have a knee that will bother me if I do certain exercises. I've found that doing rear lunges, or walking lunges, or static lunges (either flat, or with the front foot on a platform--4-8 inches high, or even on an incline) are much better than front lunges, which I tend to avoid.

 

Also, I've found that quite a few people let their knees buckle inward on lunges, and that can cause lateral stress and knee pain/injury.

 

As for 'king' of lower body exercises. The squat is usually given that title (with lunges claiming the title of "queen"), but I'd say 1-legged version of each are superior, because they recrute more muscle, including the important stabilizing muscles, like abductors and adductors.

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Squats rule.

 

Period.

 

 

But for leg size i guess leg press is better - go on, hit me!

 

I emphasize the fact that i neither do nor recommend leg press for anything, because i think that it's 1) dangerous for the lower back and knees and 2) does nothing to build strength. Yet i think for sheer mass on the thighs it's superior to doing only squats. Probably the best is to combine both.

 

 

As for lunges - never did them regularly. Don't see the point and it's hard on the knees.

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Maybe that is where I got my leg size, because I didn't do squats for 3 years, just leg presses mostly and usually have some of the best legs each time I get on stage.

 

But funny I was doing them rather than squats because of a lower back injury

 

I agree that squats are the best, but a mixture is still the overall best approach.

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Oh yeah, squats are just that hardcore. Although I've done lunges on occasion to compliment my squatting .

 

As for leg press, when you go deep with them it puts a lot of strain on the lower back muscles & spine. Its just how they are set up. The other option is to not go very deep, but then who wants to do that .

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"If you don't squat, you don't know squat about leg training!!"

 

Is there any other exercise for leg development?? why would anyone do anything other than squats? Doesn't everyone LOVE the way that vein in your forehead bulges out every time you squat double your bodyweight?

 

I know I do!!!

 

Squats are my favorite exercise... period! if I could do only one lift, it would be the squat!

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I love the vein bulging on my forehead, there is no way that I can squat 237kg! These relation to bodyweight terms really only work for light people!

 

On a different note, someone else voted for lunges - own up! If you have any decency you will own up, and I'll form a small lynch mob and burn down your village!

 

Jonathan

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I think if your willing to do them heavy and I'm not anymore...lunges are the best. Even when I was full squatting 600lbs I never really felt much of anything in my quads or calves. But put a 120lb dumbell in each of my hands and tell me to lung across a basketball court and I'll colapse...done many a sets of those. I also think lunges are what got my squat so high and a didn't really do them as often as I should have. I wish I did because I think I would have squat alot more...my friend that squats close to 900lbs does lunges with 135lb dumbells for his warmup and cool down. But he got to 700 doing more sets of lunges than squats. I think the big this is that lunges are mentally more stressful that squats especially when you not really short like he is, but if you can get over that(I never did) lunges are amazing. Once I get down to weight I plan on doing lunges again to get some of my strength back...I'll probably not do squats at all and focus on lunges and some hang cleans for speed.

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Good post, but I would argue squats can be just as, if not more stressful than lunges. At the moment I am doing a high volume routine for squats which culminates with 10sets of 3reps at 85% of your 1rm. It was bloody hard!!

Also, what about 20rep squat sets? Take your ten rep max, and stay under the bar until you have done 20 reps!

 

Jonathan

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I think if your willing to do them heavy and I'm not anymore...lunges are the best. Even when I was full squatting 600lbs I never really felt much of anything in my quads or calves. But put a 120lb dumbell in each of my hands and tell me to lung across a basketball court and I'll colapse...done many a sets of those. I also think lunges are what got my squat so high and a didn't really do them as often as I should have. I wish I did because I think I would have squat alot more...my friend that squats close to 900lbs does lunges with 135lb dumbells for his warmup and cool down. But he got to 700 doing more sets of lunges than squats. I think the big this is that lunges are mentally more stressful that squats especially when you not really short like he is, but if you can get over that(I never did) lunges are amazing. Once I get down to weight I plan on doing lunges again to get some of my strength back...I'll probably not do squats at all and focus on lunges and some hang cleans for speed.

 

I think that it has alot to do with HOW you're squatting. Lunges are good at working the hamstrings, which I've read (and believe) are the true powerhouse muscles of the upper leg. So I can see how lunges would improve your squats. But I also believe that if you squat in a way that emphasizes

 

I don't believe the work/results ratio is optimal for lunges. There's too much stress on your knees for the results you get. There are better lifts for hamstring involvement. Do deadlifts, or even Good Mornings if you want to blast those hams!

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Those are definately better for the hammies but overall nothing hurt "me" like lunges. Maybe I've just been lucky with the knees too though. As for squat technique I've always been pretty stong...my coach would never let us wear belts unless we were maxing and he wouldn't let us lift heavy without them unless we did them right so I'm pretty sure my form was good...this theory came from a guy that at 175lb he was squatting 550 and he never wore belts at all. For me its the quads that squats don't really work that well and I think thats why my cleans weren't all that great until I started doing lunges...my technique was always good so I don't give my max up to not doing them right...I truly believe my cleans were 310lbs because I was doing lunges and I got alot more power off that 4inch lift off the floor after getting up with 120lb dumbells in my hands

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I've found that doing rear lunges, or walking lunges, or static lunges (either flat, or with the front foot on a platform--4-8 inches high, or even on an incline) are much better than front lunges, which I tend to avoid.

 

Kathryn, isn't a walking lunge a front lunge? And what exactly is a static lunge?

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Kathryn, isn't a walking lunge a front lunge? And what exactly is a static lunge?

 

A walking lunge is a series of front lunges, where you don't come back to the beginning position, but keep moving forward (I've also done them both forward and back, to keep from having to turn around in a short space). They are great for wide hotel rooms and hallways!

 

A static lunge is done from lunge position, but never stepping forward or back. You just move up and down.

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To me a lunge is a squat variation (one-legged squat) so I would just say the squat is the king (since to me one-legged is part of it, ha!). Generally I think the movement which allows you to move more weight will bring more benefit to the entire body through the increased overall stress.

 

Regards,

 

Sensless

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  • 4 weeks later...

perhaps I am just not strong enough to do squats properly, but I find that I can go much deeper with lunches than squats. It also focuses the effort more on the legs and takes away the chance of using your back to "cheat".

 

I also like the fact that lunches bring stability and balance into the equation.

 

so yes....I was one of the few voting for lunches as da bomb!

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I did join the summer shape-up contest and try to build up my butt a little during the remaining two months. I started with this two days ago and hit my ass very hard with lunges. I don't know if squats are better, but I can tell you that I am still sore... almost impossible to walk. So, I definitely continue with lunges tomorrow.

Squats... I still have a weak lower back and I am avoiding heavy weights at the moment (max. 60 kgs on squating - my body weight is 74kgs). As most people in this forum telling me I have to go very deep with squats to build up my butt, I cannot imagine that lunges are causing more stress on knees than squats.

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