Improve Arabesque by Encouraging use of the Hamstring

The FLXBall is a perfect portable tool that will improve your flexibility and strength training routine. The ball allows you to utilize the resistance and actively control your movements. Your body benefits from the ball’s instability to enhance the exercise’s effectiveness.

Try these exercises that focus on strengthening the hamstrings and external rotators of the hip to help improve your arabesque! The hip extensors (hamstrings) lift the leg to the back. Therefore, bringing focus to hamstrings and “lifting the leg from the knee” to encourage use of the hamstrings to extend the leg to the back will help increase leg height and reinforce correct form.

Rachel Hamrick

Perform these exercises anywhere—quickly and successfully!

CLAM:

Lying on your side, bend your knees and place the ball behind your knee. Feel your heel pull towards your sitz bone to activate your hamstring and hold the ball in place. 

Keeping your heels held together slowly open your top knee without rocking back. Return to your starting position. Concentrate on engaging your external rotators to complete the movement and perform the exercise in a slow controlled manner.

Repeat 10-15 times.

LIFT AND LOWER:

Lying on your side, bend your knees and place the ball behind the knee of your top leg. Pull your heel towards your sits bone to activate the hamstring and hold the ball in place.

Make sure the legs are stacked on top of each other and slowly lift the top leg. Pause.

Pulse the heel toward the sitz bone 5 times and lower to your starting position. Repeat the exercise 10 times.

Rachel Hamrick

LIFT AND EXTEND:

Lying on your side, bend your knees and place the ball behind the knee of your top leg. Pull your heel towards your sit bone to activate the hamstring and hold the ball in place.

Lift the top leg in line with the hip.

With control move the leg back by initiating the movement from the hamstring. Co-contract the abdominals to prevent splaying of the torso.

Perform 5 little pulses by drawing the heel toward the sits bone and pressing on the ball.

Return to step (1) with the top leg lifted in line with the hip

Repeat 10 times.