How to perform an Arabesque
An arabesque is a simple stunt as long as it is performed correctly. When doing an arabesque, a cheerleader should keep the right leg down on the ground while lifting the left leg back behind. Cheerleaders can perform an arabesque with either leg, but upper level cheerleaders always use the right leg to fly on so we will be discussing a left leg arabesque. In doing so, a cheerleader must make sure to keep the hips facing forward. The arms will go out in a T position, a little bit in front of the chest. A key to this stunt is to keep the chest up instead of falling forward and dropping the chest.
How to Arabesque | Leg Raise
The leg raise is simple when it comes to the arabesque. The difficulty comes in when the leg reaches maximal height. Balance is essential in this position. The lifted leg should be raised while the hips are still square to the ground. Cheerleaders must keep their hips closed and make sure not to open them. If cheerleader's hips open on the leg raise, it will open their chest to the crowd. This is not what we want. The arabesque is made to be performed off to the side so that a cheerleader can show off balance and length. Cheerleaders must also remember to point their lift leg toes while maintaining a straight leg. As for the base leg, cheerleaders must make sure to keep a strong straight base leg while working to raise their weight up through their shoulders. Working up will also help cheerleaders keep their balance on top of a base.
How to Arabesque | Upper Body
The next aspect of the arabesque is the upper body. When the left leg is lifted behind, the cheerleader's chest must stay up. In order to keep the chest up, a cheerleader must find a happy medium on the leg raise height. If the leg raise goes too high for the cheerleader's abilities, the chest will tend to fall forwards. With better lower back flexibility and strength, the leg raise can go higher while keeping the chest up. Next, cheerleaders must work on arm position. First, straighten each arm out to the side. The arms must stay a little bit in front of the chest. Do not let the arms go back even with the chest or behind the chest because this is not proper technique. The last aspect is to turn the head to the same side where the leg is raised behind. Turning the head to the left will complete this stunt.
Improving Cheerleading Arabesque
When struggling with an arabesque cheerleaders must first realize the best course of action of how to improve. The best way to do that is to be honest and work on faults. If a cheerleader can not lift her leg very high, then more often than not she has a problem with strength and must strengthen her hamstrings, glutes, quads, hips, and core. If a cheerleader has problems holding an arabesque for more than 2 seconds then the problem probably is balance. Balance can easily be helped by strengthening a cheerleaders core and working through an array of one legged exercises. If the cheerleader experiences low back pain while raising her leg, then her problem is either a tight bound lower back, or a weak low back. Normally a tight bound low back can be helped with stretching 3-4 times a week. Look to our lower back flexibility FREE video for suggested stretches to increase cheerleaders lower back flexibility. If when running through lower back stretches the cheerleader realizes she is very flexible and the problem is not flexibility, then the problem is normally a weak lower back. Cheerleaders must work to strengthen their core and glutes. To do this, a cheerleader can complete 3 sets of 20 Superman's or 3 sets of 10 side bridges three times a week. Our Core Strength and Ab's Plus 12 minute workouts can really help cheerleaders get the core strength they are lackey. Check out our Kbands Burn 10 DVD set and start building the functional strength and body you are looking for.
More Arabesque Training
Now that cheerleaders have a good understanding of technique and body position it is time to continue improving. As mentioned before, strength and flexibility have everything to do with having a better arabesque. Cheerleaders can use our FREE Stretch video to increase their flexibility and range of motion. If cheerleaders are struggling with strength throughout their body to reach the desired leg height with proper chest position they can easily address the problem. Often technique is the hardest part of stunting. Gaining desired strength levels is just a matter of training smart. Head to our Arabesque Training page and learn how to utilize Kbands to help strengthen cheerleader's bodies.
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