FEEL THE BURN: Arabesque

FEEL THE BURN: Arabesque

What is this exercise?

The Arabesque exercise is a great exercise to activate your gluteals, especially your gluteus maximus.

See link to Clams, Bulgarian Lunge and bridge.

Pimarily working your Gluteus Maximus ( GMAX ) which is the muscle at the back of your gluteals. It will also assist with your Gluteus Medius ( GMed) strength and activation which is the muscle at the side of your gluteals. However, the burn should be felt at the back. It also activates your quadriceps.

In the exercise you need to stand with one foot pointing straight ahead, knee bent and pointed straight over your toes and pelvis square not tilted. Bend the knee and lift the other leg in the air behind you keeping it relatively straight.

Wait until you feel the burn in the GMax. Hold for 20 – 30 seconds ( Isometrric contraction ) and then do 20 repetitions up and down on the target leg ( Isotonic contraction ).

Repetition goal     20 +   or to fatigue

Common errors

I feel burn in the side of my glutes/hip > then your pelvis is probably not square, and you will need to hitch the hip/pelvis up on the side with the leg in the air.

I feel a burn in my hamstring > bend your knee more so your squat is lower.

I feel burn in my quadriceps > shift your weight back onto your heel.

What muscle groups does this exercise use?

Primary activation/BURN

  • Gluteus Maximus

Secondary Activation

  • Quadriceps/VMO

Associated Stabilisers

  • Gluteus Medius
  • Deep external rotators of the hip


  • Glute strength
  • Core strength
  • Pelvis stability