Curtsy lunge is one of the best types of lunge that are popular for working out the buttocks, hips, and inner thighs. It can relieve back and knee pains and improve posture, strength, and coordination.
This exercise helps to get rid of fat cells in the lower body, particularly on the waist and hips. It encourages faster metabolism, allowing you to get rid of calories and lose weight.
These consist of gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. Considered hip abductors, they pull the legs toward the body. These muscles fire up twice as the standard lunge when your legs cross back and up.
These muscles sit in front of your thighs. Straightening your legs from the crossover to starting position activates the quadriceps. In general, you let these muscles work as soon as you lunge, squat, and stand.
Also known as calf muscles, soleus and gastrocnemius are muscles at the back of the lower legs. When you push off one leg to return to the starting position and vise versa, you are activating the calf muscles.
Benefits of Curtsy Lunge
Curtsy lunge builds the strength and stability of your lower body. If you aim to increase your maximum deadlift and squats, consider this as an effective supplementary exercise.
This lunge also helps in achieving toned and well-rounded buttocks. Incorporate the curtsy lunge in your workout routine to see how sculpted your butts can be.
Improved balance is one of the promising benefits of curtsy lunge. During this exercise, your muscles from your core to ankle work altogether, which promotes body control.
Common Curtsy Lunge Mistakes
Anyone can do curtsy lunge, even the beginners, but it has to be correct. Below are some of the common mistakes that you should avoid to enjoy the lunge’s full benefits:
- Ignoring how you lean forward and backward
If you don’t maintain your chest upright during a curtsy lunge, you are not activating your glutes like you are supposed to be. Always be mindful of your movement to ensure that your torso stays upright with your gaze straight ahead.
You should not put tension on your knee and quadriceps because it indicates improper weight distribution. Your knee should be aligned with your ankle instead of the knee extending over the front ankle. You should also not lean too far behind your ankle because the improper weight distribution will suffer your back and quadriceps.
Balancing is what curtsy lunge is also about, so make sure that it determines how you lean during the exercise.
- You are not lowering down enough
Bending down your knees alternately can burn your thighs, but you have to ensure that you are lowering far enough to get the maximum benefits of curtsy lunge. Keep in mind that as long as you lower your thigh nearly parallel to the ground prior to returning to starting position, then you are doing the exercise right.
- Letting your hips go where your leg goes
Most of the time, this mistake happens in the middle of the exercise when you get tired and finds brief comfort from resting your hips from side to side as your leg crosses the other. You have to ensure that your hips stay square during curtsy lunge to achieve proper posture, balance, and control.
How to Do Curtsy Lunge the Right Way
Step 1. Stand with feet hip-width apart while your hands fall at your sides.
Step 2. Take a big step back with your right leg or draw a semi-circle with your right foot and cross it behind your left leg. You clasp your hands together at heart level or put them both on your waist.
Step 3. Lunge down as low as possible. Your front knee should be parallel to the floor or at a 90-degree angle.
Step 4. Slowly return to the starting position.
Step 5. Repeat the curtsy lunge on the other leg.
Level Up Your Curtsy Lunge
Even though the number one requirement for the curtsy lunge is your body weight, you can still use other equipment or even an additional set of workouts. You can challenge yourself by adding the following into the mix:
- Do it with a Kettlebell
Kettlebell adds more tension to the lower body because of the added weight. However, if you are still not aware of it, the use of a kettlebell also engages the core muscles. To do this, proceed with the curtsy lunge procedure while holding a kettlebell under your chin with your arms tucked.
Edward Cooper of Men’s Health considers the kettlebell as a ticket to faster fitness because its weight increases muscle, endurance, strength, and power simultaneously. Moreover, this is more portable that you can bring it anywhere with you.
- Use Dumbells
Similar to a kettlebell, dumbells engage your hands during curtsy lunge rather than letting them rest in your waist or at the clasp. However, what makes the dumbbells different is that each of your hand is holding a weight, incorporating a forearm workout in the lunge exercise.
As a starting position, do the first step of the curtsy lunge while holding a dumbbell in each of your hands, resting at shoulder level with palms facing toward each other, elbows bent. Repeat the process from one lunge to another.
- Curtsy Lunge with Oblique Crunch
Aside from the glutes, this variation of curtsy lunch also stimulates the obliques located along the sides of your core.
With your fingertips resting at your ears while your elbows spread out, cross your right leg behind and lower into a curtsy lunge. Bring the same leg up to meet the same side elbow and do it for at least 12 repetitions before doing it on your other leg and same elbow side.
- Curtsy Lunge with Side Kick
For this kind of curtsy lunge, your quads, glutes, core, hips, and thighs are all activated. You need to kick your one leg out to the side and up after standing up from a lunge. Repeat this on the other leg and on the entire duration of the exercise.
Curtsy Lunge as a Routine
Curtsy lunge is an exercise that you can solely do on a leg day or as a part of your workout routine. It does not have restrictions when done with other kinds of exercise, but it requires you to undergo warm-up, such as stretching, so your body is prepared for all the burning you are about to do.
Even if you are a beginner or advanced exercise enthusiast, curtsy lunge deserves a spot in your workout routine to achieve a toned lower body. However, it is not that easy to do because of the tension that it brings to the targeted muscles. Therefore, you have to prepare your mind to pursue this exercise, and your body to do it properly so you can reap off all the benefits of the curtsy lunge.