How to Do TRX Cross Balance Lunges: Proper Form, Variations, and Common Mistakes

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The TRX cross balance lunge uses a suspension trainer and your body's weight to perform this alternative to the basic curtsy lunge. Incorporate this movement into your lower body strength routine or add it into a workout designed to improve your balance.

Also Known As: TRX crossing balance lunge, TRX curtsy lunge

Targets: Quadriceps, glutes, calves, and core

Equipment Needed: Suspension trainer

Level: Intermediate

How to Do a TRX Cross Balance Lunge

Verywell / Ben Goldstein 

The primary component of TRX training equipment is the portable cables. Before performing this exercise, these cables must be securely attached to an anchor point above your head. Then, adjust the straps so they hang down about mid-length.

Grab the handles and stand with your body facing the anchor point. Step back until all slack is removed from the suspension straps. Your arms will be extended forward with your palms facing each other.

Stand so the left leg is centered with the TRX anchor point, keeping your core tight and a neutral spine. This is your starting position.

  1. Extend the right leg behind you and externally rotate that leg as you lower into a lunge. The right foot crosses behind the left and the right toe gently touches the floor or ground. Press through the left foot to maintain balance during the movement.
  2. Drive through the left heel to reverse the movement and return to the start position. 
  3. Perform the exercise for a determined number of reps and repeat on the other leg to complete the cycle.

Benefits of the TRX Cross Balance Lunge

The muscle groups challenged during this exercise include the quads, glutes, calves, and core. Working each leg independently also forces the stabilizing muscles to work harder to keep you balanced.

The TRX cross balance lunge can help improve strength, stability, and athletic performance. Several studies have also connected suspension training with reductions in body fat, reduced cholesterol levels, and lower blood pressure.

The TRX cross balance lunge uses dynamic balance, which is the ability to maintain control over a base of support while in motion.

A research study that combined interval training with suspension training found that this dual approach may reduce the risk of falls in older adults. Another study noted that TRX training can help this demographic boost functional mobility, strength, and balance.

Add TRX cross balance lunges to your functional strength training routine and to help with everyday actions such as catching yourself if you accidentally miss a step or rotating your body quickly when needed, for example to catch a falling object.

Other Variations of a TRX Cross Balance Lunge

This exercise can be performed in a variety of ways to accommodate your fitness level.

Basic Curtsy Lunge

If you're new to TRX training, you may want to start by performing a basic curtsy lunge on the floor without suspension straps. This helps you become familiar with the exercise and build leg strength before progressing to the TRX version.

Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and move your right foot clockwise behind your left foot. Touch your right toe to the floor and lower into a lunge position. Raise the body and move the right foot counterclockwise to return to the starting position. Repeat on the left side.

Basic TRX Lunge

Another option is to do a basic TRX lunge before progressing to the cross balance variation. While holding the TRX straps, step forward with one leg and lower into a traditional lunge. Stop once the thigh is parallel to the ground, then reverse the position. Repeat on the other side.

TRX Balance Lunge With a Pause

Balancing on one leg while holding the cross balance position for an extended period of time is one way to increase the challenge of the exercise. Start with 5- to 10-second holds, working your way up to 30-second holds per lunge.

TRX Cross Balance Lunge Combinations

Combining the TRX cross balance lunge with additional lunge variations (such as a side lunge or reverse lunge) can increase the challenge and intensity of this exercise. Move from one lunge variation to the other to complete one cycle, then repeat on the other leg.

If you are new to suspension training, it may be helpful to enlist the help of a certified TRX coach or qualified personal trainer to learn proper form and technique.

Common Mistakes

Avoid these common errors when performing a TRX cross balance lunge.

Using Arms Instead of Legs

There is a tendency to pull on the suspension straps with your arms to return to a standing position during the cross balance lunge. This reduces the exercise's effectiveness and it becomes more of an arm/core exercise than a single-leg strength builder.

Focus on body awareness when performing the movement. Proper execution involves pushing through the heel to return to the start position.

Over-Rotating the Hips

The cross balance lunge requires external hip rotation during the exercise. Sometimes twisting or rotating the hip too much can occur, increasing instability and raising the risk of injury to the hips and low back.

Maintain proper form at all times. This means rotating the hip just enough to perform the exercise correctly. 

Incorrect Body Alignment

Proper body alignment is important during the TRX cross balance lunge—especially since there can be a tendency to take the knee out of alignment with the foot and hip on the standing leg.

Maintain correct alignment by having your leg aligned with the anchor point and being aware of knee placement at all times during the exercise. Proper alignment also involves keeping your core engaged from start to finish.

Safety and Precautions

The TRX cross balance lunge is performed in unstable conditions and, therefore, requires keen body awareness. It’s important to pay attention to your body position and movement at all times during this exercise.

If you have issues with your shoulder, low back, hips, or knees, check with your doctor or physical therapist before doing the cross balance lunge to make sure it is safe for you. If you experience pain or discomfort that doesn’t feel right during the movement, discontinue the exercise.

Begin with a curtsy lunge or basic TRX lunge to master the movement. Once you're ready to do the TRX cross balance lunge, start with one set of 8 to 10 reps per side. As you build strength and endurance, work your way up to three sets of 8 to 10 reps on each side.

Try It Out

Incorporate this move and similar ones into one of these popular workouts:

4 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Maté-Muñoz J, Monroy A, Jimenez P, Garnacio-Castano M. Effects of instability versus traditional resistance training on strength, power and velocity in untrained men. J Sports Sci Med. 2014;13(3):460-8.

  2. Smith L, Snow J, Fargo J, Buchanan C, Dalleck L, Green D. ACE sponsored research: Investigating the acute and chronic health benefits of TRX suspension training. American Council on Exercise.

  3. Jiménez-García JD, Hita-Contreras F, de la Torre-Cruz M, et al. Risk of falls in healthy older adults: Benefits of high-intensity interval training using lower body suspension exercises. J Aging Phys Act. 2019;27(3):325-33. doi:10.1123/japa.2018-0190

  4. Gaedtke A, Morat T. Effects of two 12-week strengthening programmes on functional mobility, strength and balance of older adults: comparison between TRX suspension training versus an elastic band resistance training. Cent Eur J Sport Sci Med. 2016;13(1):49-64. doi:10.18276/cej.2016.1-05

By Darla Leal
Darla Leal is a Master Fitness Trainer, freelance writer, and the creator of Stay Healthy Fitness, where she embraces a "fit-over-55" lifestyle.