The Power of Pilates
Photography by: Dave Louridson
Double straight-leg stretch: Lie on your back and place your hands in a V (fingertips touching) just below your tailbone, palms facing down. Extend your legs straight up. (If that’s too challenging, keep your legs slightly bent, knees turned out, creating a diamond shape with your legs.) Bring your chin toward your chest, tuck your navel firmly into your spine and gently peel your head and upper back off the mat. ➨ Squeeze your buttocks and inhale as you lower your legs 2 inches toward the mat, controlling the movement with your abs. Think about reaching your legs 2 inches farther for every inch you lower them. Make sure that your back doesn’t arch off of the mat. ➨ Squeeze your buttocks tighter, scoop the belly and press your lower back into the mat as you exhale and again raise your legs. To focus the work on your core, keep your pelvis stable as you lower and lift the legs. Repeat 8 times.