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You’ve done lunges before, but never like this.
Generally, when people think about lunges, they think about lunging forwards or backwards, the same way they think about walking forwards and backwards. They also think about lunging while standing with perfect balance, torso perpendicular to the ground because, well, it’s a natural, stable way to move.
Thing is, your legs are built to move in other directions (called planes), and they’re well capable of getting strong even when they’re not stable. And that’s what you’ll learn and train when you try the landmine curtsy lunge to knee drive that trainer Ron Boss Everline demonstrates here. Everline has some other moves in this video too, including a basic band-assisted vertical jump (yes you can try that too), some jump lunges and split squats (you’ve seen these before) and some bench core work. But the landmine curtsy lunge to knee drive is the move we’ll focus on here.
Everline’s move challenges your strength and stability all at once, and it pushes you to move in multiple planes of motion. All at once, your abs and glutes will stabilize your body laterally and keep you in balance, your quads and hamstrings drive you up and rotational hip muscles bring your back leg around your torso and power you up.
It’s a move that builds athleticism and strength and injury-proofs your body all at once. You’re generating force on a diagonal with the ground, much as you might when making a cut on the basketball court or the football field. That stability will serve you well when you return to any field of play. The challenge of shifting energy from the lateral plane (when you do the curtsy) into the plane in which you run, the sagittal plane, also helps you build speed and improves your ability to run.
Start slowly in learning the move, though, because it’s not easy. Rushing through it won’t get you anywhere, either; you haven’t used your lower body muscles like this before.
To do it, hold the bar with your palms facing your chest, thumbs under the bar, inside shoulder against a light plate. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and tighten your abs. Form a straight line with your torso that’s near perpendicular to the ground; just standing in this position will require total-body tension (not to mention ankle stability).
Step your inside foot back and behind you, lowering down into a curtsy lunge. Remember to work in your own mobility on this move; not everyone will lower as deeply as Everline. Drive back through the heel of your front foot to push back to the start; as you do this, also rotate your back knee around and forward, pushing it towards your chest. Pause here, owning the position, then repeat. Repeat all reps, then switch sides.
Start with 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps, and focus on learning the movement. Don’t be afraid to start with only the curtsy lunge portion of the movement, adding in the knee drive later.