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How to Do a Single Leg Stretch in Pilates

Learn how to do the single leg stretch Pilates Mat ab exercise from Core Pilates NYC instructor Sarah Ruback in this Howcast workout video.


Third in the series of five is single straight leg stretch. Or as we commonly call it today scissors.

So, this exercise works on again the pelvic stability whilst giving your legs a little stretch. You'll work the back of your hamstrings. And the goal is to have your legs really straight like scissors. That's where the name came out of.

So, to start right after double leg stretch here on the mat. Then you'll breath in. Exhale. Lift up your head, neck and shoulders Madeline. Now stretch your arms and legs straight up to the ceiling and hold behind the back of your right leg with both hands.

Okay. This is where you have to make some decisions. If you're flexible and awesome like Madeline you can hold all the way up to your ankle. If you're inflexible yet still awesome you can hold it behind your calf or behind your thigh.

So, a lot of people coming to this exercise will have no way but to have their knee be bent. And that's okay. If this is what you look like hold here. Okay?

Now reach up toward your ankle Madeline for the ideal. And from here you'll pull your leg two times two. Pull, pull then switch. Pull, pull and switch. That's it.

Now we'll incorporate breath. Inhale. Continue to inhale. Exhale and exhale. Keep going. Notice her hips are nice and stable to the mat. She's scooping her abdominals and she's in her perfect Pilates curl here.

That's it Madeline. Bend both knees back toward your chest then gently lower your head, neck and shoulders to the mat.

And that's the single straight leg stretch for the scissors.

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