This move, with the genteel name of the curtsy side lift, is no lightweight. It works the major muscle groups of the lower body with a blend of dance and fitness. It comes from Pasadena-based Tracey Mallett, the founder of Booty Barre, a technique that combines elements of dance, yoga and Pilates to strengthen and stretch the body. Ballet-inspired barre workouts became popular because the exercises increase flexibility and tone the muscles without adding bulk.
What it does
The curtsy side lift hones in on the glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps, but it also helps improve balance when the core muscles, those surrounding the trunk, are engaged.
How to do it
Begin with legs turned out, one behind the other about a foot apart. Center your weight over your legs and lean slightly forward at the hips, as if doing a curtsy. With hands on hips bend the knees and pulse up and down eight times, then straighten legs and extend the back leg to the side, toe touching the floor. Extending the arms out for the curtsy and bring them toward the body and up over the head for the leg extension. To add difficulty, lift the leg slightly as you extend it. Make sure that the spine, neck and head are aligned and that the movements are slow and deliberate.
Do 10 repetitions on each leg, gradually increasing to 15 reps.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times