Curtsy Lunge: Benefits and How to Do It Correctly

The curtsy lunge is a powerful and functional exercise that works the glutes and quadriceps. If you’re looking to create a curvy, sculpted butt or build strength in your thighs, this version of the lunge is the most effective option.

The lunges are essential for getting a stronger and toned lower body. The curtsy lunge is one step further by focusing on the inner thighs. It works a range of muscles within the lower part of your body that we’ll discuss in depth.

In addition to the benefits of toning, the curtsy lunge can improve your posture and stabilize your upper body. This means that your legs will appear as well as symmetrical. It will also improve your upper body strength, which will allow you to squat or deadlift harder.

This guide will provide all you must be aware of regarding the curtsy lunges. It provides step-by-step instructions on frequent mistakes to avoid and variations for those looking to intensify their workout.

Let’s get started!

The Curtsy Lunge: Working Muscles

The Curtsy Lunge Working Muscles

Primary Muscle Group

The curtsy lunge is primarily used to engage the glutes and quadriceps. The rectus fascia, vastus intermedius, vastus medialis, and the vast medialis are the four muscles of your quadriceps on the front of your leg.

This workout places a significant amount of stress on the quadriceps muscles. This, in turn, enhances the hypertrophy and explosiveness of the quadriceps.

The gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus form 3 gluteal muscle groups. Similar to other lunging movements, the curtsy lunge stimulates the glutes.

But, the curtsy lunge works the gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus that other lunges. This helps form the gluteus and helps strengthen it as a solid unit.

Secondary Muscle Group

Furthermore, the curtsy lunge stretches the calves. The soleus comprises the gastrocnemius; calves are activated on the bottom end of every lunge when you push upwards.

Even though the glutes and quads take on most of the strain in the curtsy lunges, the calves play a part in the exercise.

The Curtsy Lunge: Benefits

The Curtsy Lunge Benefits

#1 Stronger Legs As Well As Glutes

The curtsy lunge is a great way to increase the strength of your lower body. Since the cross-legged nature of the movement may appear to be a little foreign initially, this exercise is an effective option to vary your lower-body workouts.

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The curtsy lunge can be a fantastic additional exercise to help those who want to increase the maximum amount of deadlift or squat or squat.

However, those who participate in sports like figure skating or hockey will feel familiar.

If that’s the case, then the curtsy lunge can only help improve your lower body strength for more efficient performance in your sport.

#2 Sculpted Glutes

As we’ve mentioned before, most lower body exercises focus on the gluteus maximus muscle, which is the most powerful gluteal muscle. But, the curtsy lunge is also a good exercise for the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus.

Thus, this exercise can help to create the appearance of a well-balanced, well-rounded body.

#3 Advanced Balance

When you put your leg crosswise behind you, the muscles in your calves, ankles, quads, and core are working to stabilize your body during the curtsy lunge. This will improve your body control. You can practice each exercise in slow-motion for a harder and more challenging task.

You’ll experience a higher level of muscle activation and an increased connection between your body and mind, which is a crucial ability to balance.

The Curtsy Lunge: Instructions


For the curtsy lunge to be performed, you need to use your weight. Check out the variations below for various obstacles!


  • Begin by standing with your chest up while your body is straight.


  1. With your left foot straight in front of you, take your right foot in the opposite direction toward the left. Both knees will be bent while your legs will become “crossed.” You must ensure that your left knee sits straight across your right ankle. When you reach this point, it will appear as if you’re doing the curtsy lunge!
  2. Next, move upwards in a controlled manner until you are standing.
  3. Repeat the motion using your right foot placed towards the front. It is possible to switch legs between sets or at the end of each set.


The curtsy lunge is difficult initially. After some practice, you’ll be able to maintain balance with every repetition. Complete three sets that are 12-15 reps. If you’re using heavier weights, perform 6-8 repetitions for each set.

The Curtsy Lunge: Mistakes

The Curtsy Lunge Mistakes

#1 Leaning Too Far Around

If your knee is extending over your ankle in front, This is a sign that you’re leaning too far to the left during the curtsy lunge. If this occurs, you’re creating too much strain on your quadriceps and knees.

Every curl should put a lot of emphasis on the glutes and the. Ensure that your front knee is in alignment with your ankle to ensure proper weight distribution.

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#2 Leaning Too Far Back

Certain people make the reverse error when they perform the curtsy lunge, their knees extend too far in front of the front ankle. There is too much weight on the back foot in this scenario, which means the quadriceps muscles are not working to the fullest extent.

The distribution of your weight is vital in this exercise, not just to ensure proper form but also improve your balance.

#3 Opening Up The Hips

Many people are prone to let their hips expand in one direction when they make the curtsy lunge. If one leg crosses one another, you need to ensure that your hips stay square in front of you.

This will help ensure the correct form and balance when exercising.

What can you do to incorporate this into your daily routine?

Curtsy lunges are a great choice for leg day or as part of a whole-body exercise — it’s up to you!

Include this after other exercises for the legs, such as squats or standard lunges, to work these muscles in a new method.

Always make sure that you’re adequately warmed up before starting strength training.

Perform 5 to 10 minutes of moderate to easy aerobic exercise. Then do some stretching exercises to ensure your body is ready to move.

The Curtsy Lunge: Variations

#1 Dumbbell Curtsy Lunge

If you’re at ease with the shape of the curtsy lunge, add dumbbells. It will make your muscles more challenging by putting them under more physical stress. This will also give you an isometric forearm exercise!

#2 Kettlebell Curtsy Lunge

Like the dumbbells, kettlebell variations of the curtsy lunge will increase the tension in your lower body. However, keeping the kettlebell in front of your body also stimulates your core muscles.

The Curtsy Lunge: Alternatives

If you liked the curtsy lunge exercise, check out these additional glute and leg exercises to enhance your lower-body training:

#1 Fire Hydrants

Start on your fours, with your hands under your shoulders. With your knee bent, raise one leg towards the side and stop at your hip height.

Release your glutes, then return to your starting position. Repeat!

#2 Side Lunge

Stand up with your toes slightly angled to the side and feet slightly wider than the shoulder width. Keep the left leg straight and your right knee bent. And shift your weight towards the right side.

Then, you can return to the starting position. Then, do the same with the other side. Switch legs!

#3 Alternating Reverse Lunge

Begin from a standing posture with your feet approximately the same width apart. Your chest is elevated while keeping your shoulders straight.

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While keeping your left foot straight ahead of you, take a step back using your right foot and then lower towards the ground until your left knee touches the ground. Your left knee must be right over your left ankle in this posture.

Then, you will drive up in a controlled manner until you get to your standing posture. Repeat this process for the desired number of reps while you alternate lunges from both sides.

How To Add Weight To The Curtsy Lunge?

Once bodyweight curtsy lunge is easy, you can add weight using one of the ways listed below.

Be sure you’re keeping your proper posture. However, your torso could slide forward due to additional weight.


Keep a kettlebell just at the level of your chest while curling.


During the entire motion, one dumbbell should be placed on each side, bringing your arms towards your sides.


Securely place a barbell on your shoulders and then finish the movement.

Smith Machine

Use this device as an assisted barbell for additional support during the curtsy lunge or as an added exercise.

Last Words

An exercise routine for women’s legs is not complete without the curtsy lunge. It is not only an effective exercise that can tone muscles in your legs, but it also helps build functional strength and enhances stability and stability.

If your life is moving, your legs have to be able to maintain the pace. Strong legs can help combat osteoporosis and joint pains that come with age. The curtsy lunge is simple to master since the technique isn’t too difficult. It is also possible to increase your intensity with some variations to your routine.


  • Timothy P. Carnes

    Timothy P. Carnes is a certified personal trainer with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from the University of Florida. With over 8 years of experience in the fitness industry, Timothy is an expert in strength and conditioning, body composition, and overall health and wellness. He also holds certifications in strength and conditioning through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and corrective exercise through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). As an author at FitGAG, he shares his knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics, including strength training, body composition, and overall health and wellness tips. Timothy believes that consistency and discipline are the keys to achieving fitness goals, and he strives to inspire his readers to prioritize their fitness and wellness journey. Through his articles, Timothy aims to empower his readers to take control of their health, enhance their performance, and live their best lives.

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