How to Do an Arabian in Gymnastics


The level of difficulty in tumbling stunts increases as a gymnast moves into optional-level competition. By combining two basic stunts, the back salto and the front tuck, a new stunt is developed, the Arabian. The gymnast begins with a back tuck and performs a half-twist midway to finish facing forwards. Follow these steps to perform this advanced motion.

Master both the back tuck and the front tuck before attempting an Arabian. In addition, both of these basic stunts need maximum height in order to combine them. Strong quadriceps and calf muscles will generate lift and power.

Use a spotting belt that is equipped with a twisting bar when learning the Arabian.

Practice a strong arm lift while standing on the mat and immediately draw both elbows downward and to one side, initiating the start of the twist. Your shoulder will drop and your torso will twist to that side. The movement is sharp, forceful and quick.

Begin with a standing Arabian. You can perform it in a tumbling run later; at first, it is imperative that you learn the correct body position.

Jump into a back tuck and perform the arm movement and twist you practiced while standing. Your body will twist although it will take practice to master the correct degree of the twist.

Finish the second half of the stunt in the front tuck landing position. Your legs should be together or slightly separated with knees bent to absorb the shock.

Keep your elbows high and tucked into your ribcage while twisting to avoid tangling in the spotting belt ropes.

Move to the trampoline to practice the Arabian when you can comfortably perform it in the spotting belt. The trampoline allows you to perfect the technique while providing extra lift.

Perform the Arabian on the floor as part of a tumbling run, following a roundoff, back handspring.


You can perform the Arabian from a standing position on the beam in an optional or elite level routine. Try the Arabian with a tucked, piked or layout body position.


All gymnastic stunts are dangerous. Practice only in a safe facility under the instruction of a qualified coach.