Move of The Week: Arabesque Leg Lift

One of my favorite leg exercises!

1. Bring your leg to turned out arabesque, at or above hip level. Use barre or chair for support. Bring the working leg to an angle, reaching towards the top corner of the room. 

2. Elongate spine, engage core, and press shoulders down the back.  Try to maintain a flat back with your shoulders away from your ears. 

3. Turn out hip on working leg side.  Point your toes to elongate and stretch the leg further.  Keep your supporting leg straight as well, with the hip in line directly over the ankle of the supporting leg.  

4. Lift/pulse leg upwards, keeping core engaged. 4-8cts or 32 reps each side. Strengthens leg and glute muscles.

As you pulse the leg, think about stretching the entire body in opposite directions.  Pull the abs in to actively engage your core.  Make sure your legs, abs, and glutes are doing the work, not your lower back.  If you feel pain in your back, lower the working leg.  Also remember to stay lifted, pulling up out of your supporting hip. :)

Complete both sides and finish with a nice deep stretch to release tension and relax the body.  I like to hang out in downward facing dog for a few breaths, and then walk my hands towards my feet, stretching in a forward fold with my knees slightly bent.  From forward fold, roll up slowly through the spine, one vertebrae at a time.  End with any other stretch and/or relaxing pose that feels good to you!