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Lunges, Step Ups, Split Squats ?


When training I usually rotate between forward and reverse lunges, BB or DB step ups and BB or DB Bulgarian Split Squats after my DE or ME Lower Body main lift.

My question is what is the difference between lunges, step ups, and split squats and what muscle groups are targeted with each? Or do they all basically work the same muscle groups, thanks guys.


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Same muscle groups for all exercises. Only difference is the distance between your front and back foot and the depth of the movement to determine if the glutes and hamstrings are being engaged enough.

The split squat is probably the most useful out of all of those since you can do deeper than a normal lunge. Transfers very well to regular squats!!!


Take this with a grain of salt, since this is only based on my personal experiences. I've no science to back this up.

Step ups seem to target the p-chain more than lunge variations. Lunges (reverse lunges especially) tend to target the quads a bit more. Bulgarian split squats seem to hit my adductors harder than any other lunge variation, and they also require greater hip-flexor flexibility.

As far as BB and DB variations go, a barbell resting on your back requires more core stabilization than two dumbells, but not as much as only holding a dumbell in one hand.


If i were to hold one DB while doing a split Squat, what side would i hold the DB on if my right leg was doing the squatting and my left leg was rested on the bench?


I just tried out split squats for the first time today, just 2 sets of 2 to see how they work. I was holding 1 20kg kettlebell in the rack position on the left side when I had my left leg forward. I seemed to be able to balance myself pretty well. I think if you held weight on the opposite side of your forward leg you would have a very hard time balancing yourself, but I didn't try it.


If your right leg is forward, then hold the DB in your right hand. That's what I've done in the past.

Frankly, I haven't had much success with single dumbell split squats, so I'm not sure I'd really recommend them. Even at higher reps, like 15 reps/side, I'm using 100lbs+ (and that's probably a lot less than most people use) so my grip usually fails me before I can complete the required number of reps. What can I say? I need to work on my grip strength.

In fact, since I usually do split squats and/or lunges after deadlifts, my grip is so shot that I can't even use a DB in each hand. For this reason, I stick almost exclusively to split squats/lunges with a barbell across the back.