The Arabesque Exercise, why we do it at ALTA

The Arabesque as I knew it when I was younger was when I used it in Calisthenics or many of you would recognise as a ballet move. We use it as a strengthening and balance exercise.

This exercise increases strength across many parts of our body but mostly it improves higher-level balance, strengthens the gluteals, hip stabilisers, quads, hamstrings and lower back core muscles as well as the ankles. It also is a great exercise for glute activation and eccentric hamstring loading and can be a good exercise to complete after a hamstring strain and kicking sports. The arabesque also trains the body to move over a stable single leg while maintaining a strong and neutral lumbo-pelvic position and teaches the body how to move under load but protect against poor position and abnormal strain.

A correct Arabesque should involve standing on one leg with a slight bend at the knee or as I say unlocking your knee.  With a hip tilt forward slowly bringing your chest to the floor and moving the back leg out and up. Your back should stay straight and there should be minimal rotation of the pelvis at the hip that is hips square to the floor then return to an upright position.

There are different levels to start you may hold lightly to a wall or stick and only move to a 1/3rd of the exercise and build up as you get stronger. Or if at a higher level do the full movement holding a kettle bell or dumbbells to a full stand with the opposite knee raised in front.

Ultimately, by increasing functional strength, balance and technique, a person can accomplish daily tasks successfully without excess load and injury. So, if you are looking to reduce your risk of injury, or improve your general strength and conditioning ask us if we haven’t shown you already.