Before we continue to practice what we preached in our last post, keeping our legs straight and extended, here’s a kind reminder if you are learning Pilates from our posts that this can cary some risks if you haven’t trained at a studio before. In addition to reading these notes you should attend some certified mat Pilates sessions; this will help with your understanding, safety, progression, and precision.
So, next up in the repertoire – the name says it all: Double Straight Leg/Lower Lift…
How do I do it?
Lie on your back, hands on top of each other and behind the head – elbows wide. Bring the knees in towards the chest first, glue the heels together, toes are apart to connect to the inner thighs and butt! Curl the head, neck, and shoulders out of the mat – gaze in to the abs. Extend the legs long toward the ceiling (90 degrees), lengthen out of the hips and root the tailbone in to the mat. Engage the abs, pull your belly button in towards your spine, protect the lower back from arching. Relax the shoulders away from the ears, shoulder blades heavy in to the mat.
Inhale: zip the ribs in, pull the abdominals deep in towards the spine
Exhale: as you lower the legs (straight and together) for 3 counts. Stop before your lower back leaves the mat.
Inhale: deepen the abdominals to lift the legs back to 90 degrees, making sure not to lift the tailbone out of the mat.
Alternate to lower the legs for one count and lift for three, repeat each 3 times.
– Weak lower back, place your hands in a diamond shape underneath the sits bones during the exercise. You can still curl the head and chest out of the mat. Also works for those with weaker abs.
– Weak or painful hip flexors (groin), frog out your knees and reduce the range of movement.
– Bend one leg, foot flat on the mat, extend the other leg long and lower the leg down toward the mat for 3 counts and lift back up for one. Make sure not to lift the glutes out of the mat. For beginners.
N.B. there should always be a modification to suit you, whether you have a weakness, pain, or injury – take time to find the right one and let us know if you still struggle to find one of our suggestions that suits.
– Of course it works/challenges the abs.
– Legs: uses the quads (make sure the knees are locked and strong), stretches the hamstrings, engages the inner thigh.
– Hips: works all around the hip flexors.
– Works the glutes.