We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I think lower body conditioning for strength, endurance, and athleticism ought to include (not all on the same day) barbell squats, leg press, kettlebell lunges, stair machine (which is good cardio also), deadlifts, box jumps. I do sets of each just once weekly. No time for more.
I omit mentioning cardio exercises which use legs (all of them do) because the emphasis of cardio is, obviously, cardiac fitness.
Lunges with weights are easy to hate. Gotta get in shape, though.
Functional: The gurgling sound one makes as he consumes too much Kool-Aide.
The squatting motion is one I make nearly everyday and is particularly useful after I finish the paperwork in the smallest named room in my house. While I incorporate lunges into my workout plan, to label the movement "functional", in terms of it being more functional than the squat, is laughable unless one truly has problems genuflecting at Mass.
Please note that I am not implying that one is a better exercise than the other. That would depend on ones goals as well as any particular limitations. They are both simply tools and just as it is absurd to state that a hammer is a better or more functional tool than a screwdriver, they both serve their purposes, i.e. they are not mutually exclusive when designing a training plan.
Please go and listen to this 62-year-old woman describe how getting stronger has changed her life: Kathleen Improves Her Health. Especially pay attention to what she says at 4:20 and 5:30, how her new-found strength keeps her from falling. This improved balance was not obtained through lunges or bosu ball tricks, but through the big compound lifts. Ignore the nonsense in the 'good' article that "squats don’t really test your balance".