How To Do A Double Leg Stretch

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

A Double Leg Stretch is a pilates exercise that strengthens your upper and lower abs and helps stabilize your core and protect your low back. The Double Leg Stretch teaches your body to stay stable while at the same time pulling the arms and legs out and in. This is a challenging move, but if you learn how to do the Double Leg Stretch correctly you will feel your abs get stronger and tighter.

The Double Leg Stretch originated in the practice of Pilates, a method of exercise designed to strengthen the core by using gentle but powerful controlled movements. In the early 1900s, Joseph Pilates began to design his technique, which concentrates on proper breathing and correct spinal and pelvic alignment. Today, Pilates continues to grow in popularity because these methodical exercises strengthen your core muscles including your abdominals and back. If you have a weak core or suffer from back pain, Pilates exercises can increase your strength and mobility in a short period of time.

Many ab moves focus either on lifting and lowering the upper body or lifting and lowering the legs in some way.

This move does both! While holding your upper body off the ground, you also pull your arms and legs in and out It’s a two-for-one sale on flattening your belly!

This move works the transverse abdominus, which wraps around like a belt in front of your hip bones and around the small of your back. Think of these muscles like your own internal corset that holds in your internal organs and helps you sit, stand and walk every day.

Try Double Leg Stretch a few times a week and you will notice your results quickly (and be sure to check out our other leg stretches).

Here are the steps to performing Double Leg Stretch:

1) Start lying on back with knees bent 90 degrees and arms lengthened alongside calves.  The low back should be pressed against the mat with head, neck and shoulders flexed up off the mat.

2) As you inhale, stretch your arms straight behind your head and legs straight to a diagonal position in front. As you exhale, circle arms around and back to legs while drawing knees back in to the 90 degree angle. Repeat for desired number of reps.

[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”SYghmVu0″ upload-date=”2017-10-25T17:37:07.000Z” name=”Double leg stretch” description=”A double leg stretch is a Pilates-inspired move that’s an amazing ab exercise. It requires no equipment, and targets not only your core, but also your biceps and your back, making it a total body move you can do anywhere at any time.”]

Targets: core, back, biceps

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