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Split Squat vs Lunge: What’s The Diff?

Posted on: by Wanita Nicol
Woman doing a split squat

Split squats are kinder to your than lunges and do wonders for lifting your butt.

We know lunges are brilliant for sculpting your legs and butt, but if you feel like they’re killing your knees, chances are you’re leaning too far forward over your front foot, putting pressure on your knee joint. One way to eliminate that from the equation is to make sure your legs are in the correct position before dropping down into the lunge – so you’re moving up and down, but not stepping forward or backward. This is called a split squat.

Check out Women’s Health’s FitGIF Friday every week for fun and challenging new moves to make your sweat sesh really count. Here’s this week’s exercise:

Split Squat

Swapping lunges for split squats is a good way to check your form if you’re just starting out with the exercise or wobbling uncontrollably (lunges require more of a balancing act). It’s also a good way to load one leg – in a split squat, the glute muscles of your front leg are a lot more isolated so the exercise does wonders for lifting your butt.

Do It

Start in a staggered stance so one leg is a big step in front of the other. Keeping your torso straight and tall and your core engaged, sink vertically down until your knees form ninety-degree angles. Pause, then push through your front leg back to start. Do all reps on the same leg, then repeat on the other leg.


Too easy? Hold a barbell or sandbag across your shoulders or dumbbells in your hands.

Stay Safe

Keep your torso upright throughout – don’t hinge forward or lean back. Keep your weight back so that your front knee doesn’t pass beyond your toes, which will put strain on your knee. If your knee is taking strain, step your front foot a little further forward, but keep your weight centred.

Looking for more #FitGIF Friday moves? Pimp your push-up with a BOSU.

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