Curtsy lunges can help you work a variety of muscles. To really grow and strengthen these muscles you want to do weighted curtsy lunges.
There are a variety of options to choose from with each its own advantages and disadvantages. You want to choose the right one(s) so you can make the most out of your curtsy lunges for your training goals.
After that, you can also find some of the benefits of doing curtsy lunges with weights instead of sticking to the bodyweight version.
1. Dumbbell curtsy lunge
Dumbbells are a popular type of fitness equipment. Partly because of their versatility. They are great for training upper body muscles but can also be used to do movements like curtsy lunges, also known as the db curtsy lunge.
The first benefit of using a dumbbell is that you can still somewhat use your arms for balance. Curtsy lunges can get challenging in this area so this can be a helpful benefit.
Additionally, basically all commercial gyms have dumbbells. If you have a home gym you may have a few pairs already too.
A potential downside is the grip strength required. The forearm grip muscles that have to hold the dumbbells are a lot weaker than the main muscles worked in curtsy lunges.
It is possible that these muscles will fatigue before you have trained your leg muscles enough for your training goals.
Besides that, if you don’t have any dumbbells at home yet, these do require a decent initial investment.
2. Barbell curtsy lunge
A weighted barbell is another popular way to make exercises weighted for reasons similar to dumbbells. There are both upsides and downsides to doing curtsy lunges with a barbell on your upper back.
This variation can be good in the sense that you can add a lot of weight without having to worry about grip muscles. Stronger individuals may need this to make curtsy lunges challenging enough.
That being said, the placement of the barbell and how you have to hold it in place can be big downsides.
One of the benefits of curtsy lunges is that they can help you train balance. However, when trying to grow and strengthen muscles, there is definitely a point where balancing interferes with this goal.
First of all, you have to keep your arms in the same position to hold the barbell in place. This makes it so you can’t use your arms for extra balance.
Additionally, by holding the weight so high, your center of gravity is higher. This makes it easier to fall over or at least not finish your repetition with optimal technique.
On top of that, it requires more effort and equipment to get the barbell on your upper back compared to simply picking up dumbbells.
3. Kettlebell curtsy lunge
Kettlebells are thicker steel balls with smooth handles. While they are not quite up there with dumbbells in terms of popularity, there are many gyms that have them.
That being said, if you have dumbbells available you likely want to choose these over kettlebells.
First of all, kettlebells are a lot thicker for their weight. Curtsy lunges are already challenging enough without kettlebells bumping around against your legs.
Secondly, the handles of kettlebells are smooth, they don’t have knurling (grooves on the handles). Knurling makes it easier for your grip muscles to hold the equipment.
By choosing a kettlebell with a smooth handle, the risk of fatiguing your grip muscles before a good leg workout becomes bigger.
You can also hold the kettlebell in front of your chest or in a racked position. These do not require a lot of grip strength but are more challenging when it comes to balance.
4. Landmine curtsy lunge
A landmine setup is a barbell anchored to the ground, usually with a specific attachment made for this. You can then hold the other end of the barbell with weight plates as resistance for a variety of movements.
Landmines can be a great way to do curtsy lunges with weights if you struggle with balance during the movement. Because the barbell is anchored to the ground, the curtsy lunge becomes a lot easier in this area.
Another consequence of using a landmine is that you do the exercise somewhat tilted towards the anchor point. This leads to more outer thigh muscle engagement which can be good or bad depending on your training goals.
The main downside of curtsy lunges is their equipment requirements if you don’t have a barbell with weight plates yet. In a situation like that, this weighted curtsy lunge can be relatively pricey.
5. Cable curtsy lunge
Some people also like the idea of doing curtsy lunges with a cable machine. This is a construction where a cord attached to weights goes through pulleys. You can then hold the other end of the cord as resistance.
First of all, there are two main ways to do cable curtsy lunges. The first one you want to avoid is holding the cable while facing the cable machine.
In this version, the weight of the cable machine pulls you up which makes the movement easier. This is the opposite of what you want when doing weighted curtsy lunges unless the bodyweight version is too hard for you.
The better version you can see in the demonstration video below makes the curtsy lunge harder. Similar to the landmine setup, the sideways pull from the cable machine makes your outer thighs work harder.
That being said, even the “right” cable curtsy lunge is not ideal. You can only hold resistance with one hand which makes it so your forearm grip muscles can fatigue before your legs had a good workout.
Additionally, a cable machine is not something most people have at home. Even in commercial gyms, there are often not that many cable machines available.
6. Weighted vest curtsy lunge
A weighted vest is basically its name, a vest with weights attached to it. This piece of equipment is great if you want to keep your arms free to hold other things and move.
For curtsy lunges, you preferably want an adjustable weighted vest that is on the heavier side. This allows you to start light and build up from there as you become stronger.
Weighted vests are a good way to do curtsy lunges with weights. While your center of gravity is somewhat higher than dumbbells, it should still be low enough to do the exercise without a problem.
Additionally, you can move your arms freely if you do need to adjust your balance to some extent.
Weighted vests do require some investment but at the same time, they are still priced reasonably. Especially if you consider that you can use them for a variety of other exercises too.
Benefits weighted curtsy lunges
Most people know to some extent that doing exercises like curtsy lunges with weights can offer valuable benefits but these are worth mentioning anyway.
Some of the benefits of doing curtsy lunges with weights include:
- More muscle growth and strength potential: To grow and strengthen muscles you have to challenge them enough. For the strong leg muscles in curtsy lunges that often means using extra weights.
- Improve bone density: By putting your bones under safe amounts of extra pressure with weighted curtsy lunges, you can make them stronger.
- Burn more calories: Moving more mass requires more energy from your body. Burning calories can help you keep your weight at a healthy level.
- Better cardiovascular health: Another effect of moving more mass is that your cardiovascular system has to work harder. By doing this in safe amounts you can strengthen these systems and get the benefits that result from this.
- Saves time: Working out longer is not necessarily better. By putting your muscles under more pressure you can finish your curtsy lunge workouts in a shorter amount of time.
Weighted curtsy lunge alternatives can also offer these benefits but these points do make it clear that doing curtsy lunges with extra resistance is likely worth considering.