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These days, curtsying isn’t really a thing in everyday life—but it should be at the gym. Curtsy lunges, that is. While classic lunges are still great, this ~fancy~ variation works muscles of your lower body that the regular kind doesn’t target as effectively.
“With this lunge variation, you’re not just targeting your gluteus maximus [which is the largest and outermost glute muscle] like a standard lunge does. The curtsy lunge also activates your stabilizer muscles, inner and outer thighs, and hip abductor muscles,” says Taylor Gainor, co-founder of LIT Method, an LA-based fitness studio that focuses on low-impact training. “Activating your stabilizing muscles helps with balance and strengthens your core,” Gainor adds, and targeting the smaller muscles of your glutes will help create strength and more definition. Plus, y’know, you’ll master the art of the perfect curtsy.
Rather than alternate sides like you might with a regular lunge, it’s best to do all reps on one side before switching to the other. “This is so you can focus on your stability first and then your range of motion,” explains Gainor. These elements help ensure you’re receiving all of the benefits from this lower-body move.
Check out how to do a cursty lunge with a kick below—the kick to the side adds a little extra oomph to your hip and outer thigh at the end of each rep.
Curtsy Lunge With Kick
- Start standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Lift your left leg off the ground and step your left foot diagonally behind you, bending both knees to lower your butt toward the floor. Be sure to keep your chest lifted and your spine long.
- There are a couple errors to watch out for here. “The common mistake we see with the curtsy lunge is that most people place their feet too close together,” Gainor says. Also, make sure your front knee doesn’t go past your right toes.
- Driving through your right heel, come back to standing. Kick your left foot out to your left side, and move directly into the next rep without placing your left foot back on the ground.
- That’s 1 rep, do 15 to 20. Make sure you keep a slow and and controlled tempo, Gainor says. Switch sides, and do three sets total on each side.
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