step ups & lunges?

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leif3141
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step ups & lunges?

Post by leif3141 » Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:19 pm

Are these two combined a good alternative to squats and deadlifts? They seem to work out the same areas...and work out my glutes more.

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Post by Matt Z » Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:32 pm

Generally speaking, no. squats and deadlifts are both great basic mass and stregth exercises, while lunges and step-ups are pretty much auxiliary lifts. Also, because lunges and step-ups are so similar you probably shouldn't include both in the same workout. However this doesn't mean you can't include one or even both lifts in a program that also includes squats and deadlifts.

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Post by Matt Z » Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:38 pm

For example, if you train legs twice a week you might do squats and lunges for one workout, and deadlifts (any variation) and step-ups the next. Likewise, if you do full body workouts three days per week, you might want to try doing Squats on Mondays, Lunges or Step-ups on Wednesdays and some form of Deadlift on Fridays.

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Re: step ups & lunges?

Post by Stephen Johnson » Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:24 pm

leif3141 wrote:Are these two combined a good alternative to squats and deadlifts? They seem to work out the same areas...and work out my glutes more.
If you're a bodybuilder or powerlifter, the answer is no, like MattZ said. The amount of weight that you can safely use with lunges and step-ups is much less than that for squats and deadlifts.

However, if you're weight training as an adjunct to a sport, step ups and lunges are more useful. Both movements require more balance, coordination and flexibility than squats or deadlifts. This gives them more carryover to sports performance.

If you're using step ups and lunges in a bodybuilding workout like MattZ listed, the two are redundant. But in a sports oriented workout, training vertical movement (step-ups) and horizontal movement (lunges) together makes perfect sense. Many sports require both running and jumping abilities.

Additionally, as you noted, step ups and lunges, done with long strides, effectively target the glutes. In many bodybuilding type workouts, the quads do too much and the glutes too little

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Post by Matt Z » Thu Dec 14, 2006 3:09 pm

I think it depends on the sport and what aspect of athletic performance your looking to improve. If your looking to build stregth and raw power for something like football (the American kind), squats and deadlifts would still be a better choice.

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Post by Ryan A » Thu Dec 14, 2006 3:32 pm

I think squats and deadlifts are better for sports. If you want to work on balance and coordination, you should do it in some form of drill directly applicable to the sport. "weighttraining" with non-maximal weights is really not that helpful. All of the qualities that are important for sports are based off your maximum strength. If you are going to put time in the weightroom, you should be trying to improve your maximum strength, since you can't really improve that on the field.

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Post by Wouter » Fri Dec 15, 2006 6:37 am

I believe (correct me if wrong) that lunges worke the Gluteus MUCH more then squats. So when you think you have not much muscle in your ass, do lunges and you'll feel sore in your ass for 2 days.
Lunges are also better for the knees I suppose. You do have to take a very wide stance though, because your knee should not get further then your toes.
BTW is it normal that it is though to get such a wide stance?

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Fri Dec 15, 2006 10:20 am

After reviewing RyanA's response, I have to agree with him - for an athlete engaged in a serious sports training program, it is better to use the weight room to maximize strength and then use other venues to work on balance, coordination and flexibility. I was thinking like a personal trainer working with a client rather than a strength coach working with an athlete. The PT's client is most likely a recreational athlete who isn't going to use specialized sports training programs.

If you're primary interest is to increase strength, step ups and lunges aren't a replacement for squats and deadlifts. But you can get a good leg workout with them, with flexibility, coordination and balance gains as dividends
Last edited by Stephen Johnson on Fri Dec 15, 2006 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by TimD » Fri Dec 15, 2006 10:33 am

I'm divided on that. I have several programs by Coach Javorek, one of them being an offseason and preseason buildup for sprinters/jumpers. For the strength application, yes, it is split snatches (full-which is basically a split squat-lunge- holding the weight overhead) plus full squats for the basics, walking lunges, alternate lunges, step ups box jumps and jumping squarts are all used as GPP/plyo's, in addition to sports training practice. For general fitness, as the original poster PROBABLY is asking about, a good amount of all 4, being squats, deads (or some pulling movement off the floor) along with lunges and step ups would be appropriate.
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Re: step ups & lunges?

Post by George G » Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:27 pm

leif3141 wrote:Are these two combined a good alternative to squats and deadlifts? They seem to work out the same areas...and work out my glutes more.
They are not alternatives, they are complements. Generally speaking, you have to do squats AND deadlifts AND step-ups AND lunges.

There is no way you will match the hormonal response achieved with squats and deadlifts by doing step-ups and lunges.

Having said that, have a look at this: http://www.overspeedtraining.com/legsart.htm

The question is: WHY do you want to replace squats and deads?

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:46 pm

Good perspective and a good link. Thanks, George G

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Re: step ups & lunges?

Post by Stephen Johnson » Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:52 pm

George G wrote:The question is: WHY do you want to replace squats and deads?
Probably because he wants to work his glutes more.

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Re: step ups & lunges?

Post by leif3141 » Sat Dec 16, 2006 12:35 pm

Stephen Johnson wrote:
George G wrote:The question is: WHY do you want to replace squats and deads?
Probably because he wants to work his glutes more.
That...and because I can do both lunges and step-ups here at my place...squats I must make a 30 min trip in order to do them and not pay a boatload of money for a gym membership or a bunch more of plates and barbell set.

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Post by VoK » Sat Dec 16, 2006 1:46 pm

one-legged squats?

google "pistols bodyweight"

You might be pleasantly surprised about the difficulty.

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Re: step ups & lunges?

Post by George G » Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:43 pm

leif3141 wrote:
Stephen Johnson wrote:
George G wrote:The question is: WHY do you want to replace squats and deads?
Probably because he wants to work his glutes more.
That...and because I can do both lunges and step-ups here at my place...squats I must make a 30 min trip in order to do them and not pay a boatload of money for a gym membership or a bunch more of plates and barbell set.
Well, life sometimes requires compromises. No big deal. I train in a gym with nor barbells (some gym!), and so I do Zercher-squats with a zn EZ-Curl bar and deadlifts with the same bar. I use the plates from the smith machine.

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