When to Lunge

Is the lunge a better exercise for quads or hamstrings?

January 4, 2012

There's no debating the fact that the lunge is a great exercise for the legs. However, it is up for debate whether the lunge is a better exercise for quads or hamstrings. That is, until now. Swedish researchers had athletes complete a lunge workout twice per week for six weeks. The workouts consisted of performing four sets of walking lunges for 12 reps per set.

The researchers tested the muscle strength of the athletes' hamstrings and quads at the beginning of the study and after the six weeks were complete. They reported in a 2011 issue of the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research that the lunge workouts increased the athletes' hamstring strength by 35% yet failed to improve their quadriceps strength. This suggests that the walking lunge involves more hamstrings than quads. So when it comes to walking lunges, do them when you are focusing on your hams.