This exercise challenges the upper body strength, scapula stability and also pelvic stability
Come to an all fours position with the knees bent directly under the hips and place the hands on the floor directly under the shoulders. Inhale to prepare. Exhale to engage the core abdominals, take the right knee off the floor and extend the leg straight out behind the body to rest on the tip toes. Repeat to raise the left leg until a full plank position is reached with the pelvis in neutral.
Inhale - To prepare
Exhale - To engage the core abdominals, take the right foot off the floor and lift the leg straight up behind the body as far as a neutral pelvis can be maintained
Inhale - To return the right leg back down to the floor
Repeat with the left leg
Pectorals, deltoid, triceps, core abdominals, gluteals, calves
Ensure the core abdominals are engaged throughout to prevent the back from dipping or the bottom sticking up as the leg lifts off the floor
Maintain the length between the ears and shoulders
Try to avoid collapsing in between the shoulder blades. Engage serratus anterior to maintain the distance in between the shoulder blades
Maintain length on both sides of the waist
Keep the hips and pelvis level throughout
Only lift the leg as high as a neutral spine can be maintained
Variation One (Adaptation)
This exercise may be performed without the leg raise (i.e. just hold the plank position)
Variation Two (Progression)
Once the right leg is raised, hold the position whilst the left foot dorsi flexes (i.e. perform a calf stretch with the left foot). Then plantar flex the left foot and return the right leg to the floor. Repeat with the opposite leg.
This exercise places extra stress on the wrist and shoulder joints. Take extra care when attempting this exercise for certain clients with problems in these joints, as it may prove unsuitable for them.
Pilates Double Leg Stretch Classic ExerciseView exercise >
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