To work the abductors and adductors whilst maintaining length in the waist
Lie on left hand side of the body in a straight line with feet, knees and hips in alignment. The right hand is resting on the floor in front of the body. The left arm is outstretched along the floor above the head in alignment with the spine. The head rests on the left shoulder.
Inhale - To prepare
Exhale - Stretch the legs, elongating at the waist and raise both legs upwards
Inhale - To lengthen and raise the upper leg on its own a little higher
Exhale - Raise the underneath leg a little higher (as if trying to touch the top leg)
Inhale - To touch the top leg onto the bottom leg then return both legs back to the floor
Abductors, Adductors, Obliques, Scapula Stabilisers
Ensure the shoulders stay away from the ear and the gap between ear and shoulder remains equal on both sides
Try to keep an equal length on both sides of the waist to avoid the tendency to shorten in the waist on the top side
Keep the collar bones open
Keep abdominals engaged throughout to ensure a neutral spine so that the back does not over arch or over flex
Ensure the pelvis does not roll forward or back
Variation One (Adaptation)
Inhale to prepare. Exhale to raise the top leg only. Inhale to then raise the bottom leg upwards. Exhale to lower the top leg onto the bottom leg and then lower both legs to the floor together.
Variation Two (Progression)
This is the same as the normal version except that the hands are both outstretched above the head in alignment with the spine. The palms are together. This takes away the stability of having the top arm in front of the body, helping to prevent the pelvis from rolling back and forth. The core abdominals have to work a lot harder to stop the body rolling.
Raising two straight legs from the floor may place extra stress on the spine (particularly on one side), causing discomfort, so may be unsuitable for certain back problems
Pilates Double Leg Stretch Classic ExerciseView exercise >
This is one of the classic 34 exercises in Joseph Pilates original repertoireView exercise >
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