facebook google-plus linked-in twitter youtube Instagram
The UK’s premier online Pilates Education accredited training provider
machines matwork small-equipment

exercise of the month

Double Leg Stretch - Variation Three

March 2019

Aim

To work the deep and superficial abdominals, maintain scapula and pelvic stability and challenge co-ordination

Starting Position

Lie supine in the relaxation with knees bent.  Inhale to prepare.  As you exhale, engage the core abdominals and lift one leg up at a time until the legs are bent at 90 degrees above the hips.  Open the knees out until they are about shoulder width apart (or wherever flexibility allows).  Place the hands on the outside of the knees.  The toes are touching each other and are softly pointed away from the body.

Action

Inhale – To engage to core abdominals and extend the legs as straight as possible in a turned out position at an angle of between 50-90 degrees from the body and simultaneously curl the head and shoulders off the floor, whilst straightening the arms so that they are parallel to the floor just above hip height.  The toes are softly pointed

Exhale - To raise arms up to the ceiling whilst dorsi flexing the feet

Inhale - Continue circling the arms back and out to the side and back to the parallel position just above the hips whilst plantar flexing the foot

Exhale - To return back to the starting position.   The lower the legs are to the floor, the harder the exercise. 

Target Muscles

Core Abdominals, external rotators, gluteals

Watchpoints

As the arms circle backwards, the weight of the arms can pull the torso back down towards the floor.  Use the abdominals to lift the torso higher as the arms circle backwards to prevent losing height in the torso

Ensure neck stays long with the eyes focused down towards the pelvis

Ensure the shoulders are away from the ears, particularly as the arms circle back

Maintain a soft elbow joint

Ensure the flexion of the feet comes from the ankle joint so that the toes do not over curl

Only move the legs as far as a neutral pelvis can be maintained

For tight hamstrings, the knees may be slightly bent as is necessary

Contra Indictions

The turned out position of the leg may not be suitable for sciatica (choose variation one)

The half-curl position may not be suitable for certain disc-related back problems or osteoporosis

Share this exercise

September 2019

A lovely exercise to stretch the spine, whilst strengthening and stretching the adductors and hamstrings but also requiring core control to perform smoothly and safely

View exercise >

July 2019

This is a great exercise for beginners to learn the principles of opposition and scapula stability

View exercise >

Post a classified advert

Members of Pilates Union can list classified adverts.

Post an advert