Pilates move of the week……Single leg stretch
Single leg stretch is one of the most common core exercises found in Pilates. It is a great exercise to implement during a warm up routine. This particular exercise helps with not only core strength but also coordination, stability of the pelvis and endurance. Single leg stretch is completed in a table top position with the head, neck and shoulders off the ground (as seen in the image above). If that position is too strenuous on the neck it can also be completed with the head, neck and shoulders flat on the ground. This modification allows this exercises to be suitable for all levels.
How to perform Pilates Single Leg Stretch:
- Lie on a mat in tabletop position. Knees are bent and shins are parallel to the ceiling.
- Inhale to prepare
- Exhale, raise your head neck and shoulder blades off the mat, your belly button curls toward you spine. Extend your right leg straight in front of you, with left leg remaining bent in the starting position with both hands around the top of the shin.
- Inhale, switch legs. Straightening the left leg in front of you and right leg returns to the bent knee position with both arms around the top of the shin.
The intensity of this exercise increases the lower you extended your legs. If you are new to the single leg stretch start with your legs straightening out to a higher position off the ground, as you gain strength in your core start lowering your legs closer to the ground.
The modification is always an option where the head and shoulders remains resting on the mat. During the modification it is important to note that at all times, your low back must remain in contact with the mat.