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How to Do a Double Leg Stretch in Pilates

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


Double Leg Stretch is the second in the series of five. Each exercise builds off each other, so you can expect that the series will get a little bit more challenging as you go. And in this series, we focus on a concept called proximal to distal.

Proximal means like how Madeline is right now. Her knees are close to her chest. Her arms are under her chest. Your appendages are closer to your torso or your center. That keeps an exercise more supported or simplified. Distal means you take your arms and legs away from your center, and that's quite a challenge. So that's what we'll look at in this exercise.

So right after Single Leg Stretch she's on the mat, then curl up your head, neck and shoulders. Extend your arms toward your ears, and extend your legs out to 45 degrees parallel. Then circle your arms to your sides and hug the shins toward your chest.

Again, inhale deeply here through the nose. Exhale through the mouth as you hug the knees towards the chest. Keep going. Inhale and exhale. Circle the arms, and hug the knees in. Keep it up. Now if this is challenging for you, make the angle more proximal. That would be the arms up to the ceiling and the legs up to ceiling. Then circle the arms and come right back in.

One last time, Madeline. Inhale. Exhale. Come in. Scoop your abdominals. Then lower your head gently back down to the mat with control.

That's Double Leg Stretch.

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