Movement of the Month: Crossover Lunge to Curtsey Lunge
With Coach Kennedy
“How did you pick your exercise for the movement of the month,” my wife Natasha asks, “is it because of the Royal Family? I always think of them when I do my curtseys.” That’s cute. For almost a year now, she’s been working on her “transformation”.
She’s put her effort, time, and resources into growing her glutes, shoulders, abs and so on, re-shaping herself, and we’re currently a couple weeks out from the photoshoot to commemorate the effort. Diet has been adjusted, fat has been lost. I applaud her dedication and draw inspiration from it.
I find that while all forms of exercise have their place, there are moves that contribute to sport and life more directly than others, which leads me to the Movement of the Month.
This is an excellent exercise to challenge you in all planes of motion, frontal, sagittal and transverse, works on intermuscular (think quads coordinating with hamstrings) and intramuscular coordination (think about the individual muscle having to coordinate within itself). When we coordinate the body in this manner, it will lead to movement efficiency, so less energy is wasted, while increasing caloric expenditure. Think weight loss — clients can go longer before fatiguing.
How else can you benefit from this movement?
Transitional balance, the ability to stay balanced while moving into and out of different directions, as with walking.
There’s also deceleration. Think about the lower body having to slow your movement down. This means eccentric strength is being worked on. Think about the quads as you cross over and then curtsey behind. They need to slow the action down to control the movement. This helps with day-to-day activities like walking, lunging forward, and coming to sudden stops.
Also, it’s FUN and different, two considerations that may help clients stick with the effort; this in short means achieving their goals.
So with a nod to the Royal Family…(and to Natasha’s new curves);
Start: Begin by standing (feet about hip width apart, soft knees, CORE braced, shoulders in their set position – elevate, retract and pull straight down).
Phase #1: From your starting position, take your left leg and cross it in front of your torso and then come down into a lunge. Hence, the crossover lunge portion. Remember to maintain a tall spine, look forward and always be sure to keep the front foot (left one in this case) completely on the ground. Visualize the foot as a tripod. The heel, the big toe knuckle and small toe knuckle must always maintain ground contact. The back foot heel will naturally come off the ground, but still maintain contact through the toes.
Phase #2: From this crossover lunge position, drive off the heel of the front foot (left foot in this case) and step back into your starting position.
Phase #3: From your starting position take your right leg and cross it in behind your torso and come down into a lunge. Hence, the curtsey lunge portion. Remember to maintain a tall spine, look forward and always be sure to keep the front foot (left one in this case) completely on the ground. Visualize the foot as a tripod. The heel, the big toe knuckle and small toe knuckle must always maintain ground contact. The back foot heel will naturally come off the ground, but still maintain contact through the toes. Push off the front leg and step back into your starting position.
Phase #4: Repeat on the other side.
Exercise Protocol: This can be done for reps or timed depending on its purpose. It is considered a main movement in your exercise program, but if unloaded it can also be used as a prepping movement.
Apply the exercise based on your client’s fitness level. In other words, regress and progress as required.
Questions? Contact Coach Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org