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If you’re looking for a challenging lunge variation to add to your workout routine, consider trying the curtsy lunge.

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What Is a Curtsy Lunge?

A curtsy lunge is a bodyweight exercise that targets muscle groups in your lower body and core. Perform curtsy lunges by moving your right foot backwards, then crossing your right leg behind your left leg; hinge your left knee directly over your left foot and your right knee under your hip, lowering yourself down toward the floor.

Curtsy Lunge vs. Conventional Lunge: What’s the Difference?

Although the curtsy lunge and conventional lunge are similar, they differ in a few distinct ways.

  1. Movement pattern: Conventional lunges, also known as forward lunges, use a simpler movement pattern than curtsy lunges. Perform forward lunges by taking a step forward and lowering your body. During curtsy lunges, you add to this movement by crossing one of your legs behind you.
  2. Muscles targeted: Although they activate many of the same muscle groups, including your hamstrings and gluteus maximus, curtsy lunges put special emphasis on different muscles than standard lunges. The curtsy lunge also activates your gluteus medius and other hip abductor muscles that run along your inner thigh.
  3. Difficulty level: Curtsy lunges are generally more difficult to perform than regular lunges. If you’re new to lunging, consider working your way up to the curtsy lunge with simpler lower-body workouts. Once you’ve mastered the curtsy lunge, consider increasing the challenge by holding onto a kettlebell or a pair of dumbbells during the exercise.
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How to Do Curtsy Lunges

For the curtsy lunge, begin with 2–3 sets of 10–15 repetitions on each side. Choose your sets and repetitions based on your ability to maintain good technique throughout all sets and repetitions.

  1. Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and a slight bend in your knees. Your shoulders should be directly over your hips with your head and neck in a neutral position. Your chin should remain tucked throughout the movement, as if you’re holding an egg under your chin. Distribute your weight evenly on your feet, and grip the floor with your feet to create a stable foot position. Place your hands on the sides of your hips. Pre-tension your shoulders and hips, and engage your core. All repetitions should begin from this position.
  2. Maintain a neutral spine and an upright chest position as you take a step backward, tracing a semicircle around your front heel with the ball of your rear foot.
  3. Bend your hips, knees, and ankles to lower yourself toward the floor until your back knee is an inch or two from the ground. Your front foot should be neutral with your front knee directly over your big toe. Keep your rear hip over your rear knee and your rear foot on the ball of your foot.
  4. At the bottom of the lunge, both of your legs should be bent at roughly 90 degrees. Keep your pelvis neutral, imagining that your pelvis is a bucket filled with water and you’re attempting not to spill any of it.
  5. To begin the upward movement, keep your chest high, and push your entire foot into the ground, using your glute and quad to push back to an upright position. Push through your midfoot and heel while keeping your toes engaged. Bo