I tore a spinal erector a couple weeks ago and I need to lay off of squats for a while because they aggravate my back. For as long as I've been lifting weights, squats have been the only quad exercise I've done. Can lunges be used as a replacement and still result in good quad stimulation? I can't do leg presses right now either. I'm thinking lunges might be cool because they'll let me work each leg independently which will prevent/correct any imbalances I may have developed from squatting. For those of you who do lunges, do you prefer to do them with a barbell on your back or with dumbbells at your side? I'm thinking with my back it might be better for me to use dumbbells.