Squats and lunges have been some of the most efficient bodyweight exercises around for decades. Both of these exercises target and strengthen your core body region and are staples in nearly every butt and leg toning workout regimen everywhere. But, when you do these two exercises often, your body will become used to them, which means mixing it up a bit is a good idea! Try this whenever you feel your legs getting tired – do a squat then a lunges alternating with each other. You will soon notice that you can now do squats with less tension and more range of motion.
There are many more different variations of squats and lunges out there that you can try. Some workouts are centered on doing only squats while others focus on both exercises equally. One thing I always do with my clients is mix it up – do upper chest presses and incline dumbbell presses, then alternate with squats. This keeps their muscles guessing which one to work. The same goes for bicep curls and triceps dips.
Another variation that I’ve found to be very effective is lying leg raises and sitting abdominal extensions. Lunges also use a large muscle group for core strength and work the legs, core, and upper back at the same time. The core muscles in the abdomen and back help stabilize your spine and pelvis – this is especially important if you are going to be in a crunch position from more than just sitting down for long periods of time.
Squats put stress on your legs, butt, and back all at the same time. This increases overall strength and makes your workout more effective. It also helps you avoid straining your knees and ankles while working your way up an abdominal muscle. Lunges also strengthen your thighs, hips, and butt while also improving your overall range of motion.
I recommend using squats and lunges as part of a total workout routine. If you plan to do most of your exercises alone, then squats and lunges won’t really help much. If you decide to get a partner to help you, then you can pair up with each other and alternate which exercises you focus on. There are many other workouts that use the same core gluteal muscles that squats and lunges do. For example, Dead lifts use your quads to pull weights, squats use your hamstrings, bent-over rows use your shoulder and lat pulldowns use your lower back. There are other exercise types that use your glutes as well, such as bent-over rows, standing raises, and military press.
If you’re looking for a simple core exercise that provides good size, shape, and solid functional strength, squats and lunges should be high on your list. Not only will you feel better about yourself, but you’ll also notice a major improvement in your posture. Don’t make this one of those exercises where you can do one rep and it’s done. Always come into each exercise with a full range of motion and count all of the muscles working while you do it. That’s the only way to know how much you’re really working your core!