Lunges and squats are some of the best exercises for the lower body, especially the buttocks and the thighs. Even though they target the same muscle groups, not many people are aware of the differences between them.
Many people mistakenly believe that doing one of the two exercises is sufficient; however, the truth is that both these forms of exercises need to be performed in tandem with each other in order to tone the lower body. Following are some differences between the two forms of exercises:
You must never perform lunges and squats in the same workout session as this will place too much stress on your body. Instead, you should perform them on alternate days to increase the strength in your lower body.
Center of Gravity
In lunges, the muscle group that is targeted is known as the Gluteal muscles, simply known as the glutes. This is a group of three muscles that form the composition of the buttocks, and these are the Gluteus maximus, the Gluteus minimus, and the Gluteus medius. The quads and the adductor muscles are also strengthened by performing this exercise properly.
Squats also primarily target the same muscles worked by lunges; however, the center of gravity is more central in this case since you are not shifting the position of the feet, thus making it easier to balance. Hence, the stress on the spinal cord is increased.
For these reasons it would be unfair to say that one of the two exercises is better than the other, since they are both beneficial in their own manner.
Another key difference is that the lunges are far more difficult to perform. Many seasoned exercise lovers know that one can easily perform around 50-100 squats a day, but for most people anything more than 15-20 lunges per leg can cause excruciating pain the next day.
While it is good to push yourself while exercising, there is a certain limit beyond which you must not force yourself. This will only lead to serious muscle damage and crippling pain the day after. This is why it is advisable not to perform lunges and squats on the same day. The knees are at a greater risk of damage if you perform excessive lunges.
Thus, if you want toned thighs and buttocks, it is strongly recommended that you perform both the exercises. However, you must space out the workout regime, and also consult a personal trainer for more details.
Disclaimer: Always consult a physician before starting any physical fitness program in order to reduce the risk of injury.