What is a Pretzel?

The Pretzel is a movement used in barre and Pilates classes to strengthen the glutes. Practitioners are in a seated position with knees bent, one leg in front of the body and other tucked behind the hips. Small lifts of the back leg make this a great exercise to strengthen and tone.

How do you do a Pretzel?

  • Step 1

    Start in a seated position. Bend both knees and put one leg in front of you, in line with the hip, and one leg behind you at a 45-degree angle. Rest one arm on the mat and the other on your front ankle. Your body should lean slightly forward, with your back staying long.

  • Step 2

    Lift your back leg up in tiny movements, making sure your original body positioning stays the same.

  • Step 3

    Lower your leg back down to the mat.

  • Step 4

    Lift your leg again, then repeat the small pulsing movement.

How do you modify a Pretzel?

  • Pretzel for Beginners

  • Advanced Pretzel

What are the benefits of a Pretzel?

  • Glute Strength

  • Leg Strength

  • Leg Stretch

Expert opinion

The pretzel is a tough exercise to master, but when you do, you realize how many muscle groups it targets.

You’ll be amazed at how it can sculpt your waist! The key to it is keeping good posture and not sinking into the supporting side hip. By bracing your torso and activating stabilizing back muscles, you’ll be able to work with more control to lift the working leg. When you have perfected the technique with small and controlled movements, you can add resistance to the movement with an ankle weight, a soft ball behind the knee or a resistance band looped around the ankle.

Vicki Anstey,Barreworks in London

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