The squat is the king of all leg exercises. But Lunges rounds things out.


The squat is the king of all leg exercises, but the walking lunge is also effective and has at least one benefit over the squat — taking a large step forward and landing on the front leg adds more eccentric force than the squat.

Eccentric force is important for increasing muscle size and strength. But there is a lot of confusion over whether the lunge is more of a quad or hamstring exercise.

It is a multijoint movement that uses both muscle groups, but a study performed by Swedish researchers suggests that the lunge is more of a hamstring exercise.

They asked competitive soccer players to complete a walking lunge workout — four sets of 12 reps — twice weekly for six weeks. They tested the subjects’ ham and quad muscle strength at the beginning and end of the study.

The lunge workouts led to a 35% increase in hamstring strength, with no increase in quadriceps strength.

This suggests that the walking lunge places more emphasis on the hamstrings than on the quads.