The Double Straight Leg Stretch is a great and very effective abdominal exercise that targets and strengthens your core. I love this exercise because not only are you working your upper abs, you are also targeting your hard to reach lower abs as well.
Why you should be doing the Double Straight Leg Stretch
- This exercise challenges the abdominal muscles, especially those hard-to-target lower abdominal muscles.
- It works your hip flexors, especially Sartorius, as well as your quadriceps and the vast medial muscle, which helps retract the patella.
- It helps to strengthen your deep core stabilizers so that your lower back will be protected and stronger!
How to perform a Double Straight Leg Stretch
Lie on your back, and one at a time to protect your back, bend your knees toward your chest into table top position.
Extend both legs toward the ceiling at a 90 degree angle. Press your heels together, toes apart and pointed, hands behind your head, elbows wide.
Inhale to prepare
Exhale – Scoop your abs in, curling your head and chest up, neck is long, staying lifted during the entire exercise.
Inhale – Bring your navel towards your spine, squeezing your inner thighs and buttocks as you lower your straight legs towards the mat to a 45 degree angle, making sure your back stays flat on the mat.
Exhale – Squeezing your inner thighs and buttocks ever tighter, as you lift your legs back towards the ceiling at a 90 degree angle.
I recommend to repeat the exercise 10 times.
If you need support for your lower back:
- Place your hands palms down in a diamond position just below your tailbone.
- Keep your legs in a tabletop position, alternating lowering each leg separately or together
Ready for a challenge?
How low can you go? Try lowering your straight legs all the way down just a few inches off the mat (while keeping your back flat on the mat!) for an extra challenge.
Elizabeth believes that the power of Pilates can change a person’s life. With a BASI certification, Elizabeth teaches her clients how to achieve a strong body and clear mind, as well as how to empower themselves with a confident spirit. Elizabeth is excited to share her love of Pilates and help her students to achieve their physical potential through this amazing mind/body exercise connection.
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