Squats vs lunges: Which exercise is better for weight loss?

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, squats and lunges are two of the most common workout moves everyone includes in their fitness routine. They are part of a variety of functional training exercise styles, usually performed by both men and women. These compound moves help to build lower-body strength while improving mobility and stability. What’s more, both squats and lunges aid in calorie burn, engage the core and help create a more toned lower half. While they both offer several benefits, which is better for weight loss: lunges or squats? Let’s find out.

Lunges vs Squats: Which is better for weight loss?

As someone in the fitness industry, I encounter this question a lot, about whether squats or lunges are better for weight loss. As I always say, across the board, spot training or focusing on perceived ‘problem areas’ will not result in weight loss. Only a sustained approach to fitness, where the entire body experiences a regular and balanced mix of strengthening, lengthening and toning, will result in desired weight loss.

Benefits of squats

Squats are versatile as they target your quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings, creating greater resilience and balance in your lower body. They also strengthen the core and leg muscles, which helps prevent injuries and take some weight off your knees. There is a school of thought that believes that squats are better for beginners, as they are a more balanced move and require less coordination than lunges do.

Also Read: Pulling off a squat is an art. Here is how you can do them correctly

Squats for weight loss
Benefits of squats for weight loss. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Benefits of lunges

Lunges test your coordination and agility while building muscle and strength since the move is done one leg at a time. Lunges build lean muscle and can be more beneficial in an intermediate to advanced workout regime if you’re used to quick moves that require more coordination. What’s more, lunges are preferred by runners, as they help build leg and glute strength that creates endurance to help you run longer and faster.

Also Read: Meet lunges, the easiest exercise you can do for strong and toned legs

lunges for weight loss
Know how lunges are good for weight loss. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Which is better for weight loss?

Squats sometimes come more naturally to people as the move mimics sitting in a chair, a daily movement that we are all more or less used to. Lunges are trickier, as they require balance and can lead to injury if not performed correctly.

However, doing just one alone will not lead to weight loss. It is advised to include both exercises in your workout routine. Squats make target muscle groups work harder as you hold a squat longer, while a lunge requires a quicker movement. A combination of the two will result in a calorie-burning, core-engaging workout that will show benefits regardless of whether you are an athlete or just a fitness enthusiast. Similarly, with squats and lunges, doing just one alone will not lead to weight loss.

Also Read: Weight loss tips: Incorporate these 5-minute exercises in your busy schedule

exercises for weight loss
Know the right exercises for weight loss. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Squats or lunges, correct form is important

Ensure you are doing the exercises correctly. It is vital to maintain a correct form when doing either a squat or a lunge. Like with any workout, it’s expedient to begin slowly. Start with mastering your squat, then move on to perfecting lunges, before you include both into your workout. When you are able to ace both and do them correctly, that’s when you are going to create a truly explosive lower-body workout.

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