How to do a Squat and Curl with Alternating Knee Lift

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chris Freytag demonstrating an Squat and Curl with Alternating Knee Lifts

This total body exercise works a lot of different muscles and will get your heart rate up fast. And while three individual exercises combined into one may seem intimidating, they are all super basic and easy to learn if you haven’t done them already. The squat and knee lift work your quads and glutes, the curl works your arms, especially your bicep! Because you are lifting onto one foot, the core is also engaged for stabilization. You really are getting the most bang for your buck in this exercise!

 It’s also great because it requires only one piece of equipment: dumbbells. We recommend choosing a weight that will create enough resistance for your biceps to feel the burn, but not so much that you lose form. The point of the dumbbells is to help improve arm strength and muscle tone, but in order to do that you must maintain proper form!

Before you get started, here are some tips to improve your Squat and Curl with Alternating Knee Lift: When you squat, keep your chest lifted, shoulders down and abs tight. Also, make sure your knees don’t move forward over your toes. When you curl, keep your elbows as close to your body as you can without using your sides for support. Also, don’t rest when you reach the top or bottom, instead try to keep tension on the biceps! If you incorporate these tips into the exercise, you’ll be sure to feel the burn, so don’t forget to smile while you do it!

For a great workout that uses a bunch of basic exercises all in one sitting, try our Back to Basics Total Body Workout.

1) Start in squat position, weight back on heels and arms long next to side holding dumbbells.

2) Squeeze your glutes to press up and lift right knee as you curl the weights to your shoulders.

3) Slowly lower the weights back down and return to squat position.  Repeat with left knee.

Targets: biceps, glutes, quads


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