On the Mat: Single Straight Leg Stretch
– Roll Call!! Roll Call!! The third of the “five of fire”.
Tight lower back, glutes and hamstrings? This is definitely for you!
What’s it good for?
- Learning to create stability in your body whilst limbs are moving.
- Learning to create a strong and stable C-curve that will help so many other exercises.
- Strengthen your abdominals and stabilise your back.
- Learning to lengthen: spine and legs and arms.
- It’s a hamstring stretch as well 🙂
Difficulty: intermediate – it depends on your body type 🙂
Reps: five each way
The Series of Five isn’t about just flexibility, it’s also about strength.
Perhaps this is the most cheated on hamstring stretch of them all? A lot of people that can fold at the hip are able to pull their leg right over their face and look very impressive doing so! But this means that your abdominals are just hanging out – nothing at all is working.
Remember that this is part of the “Series of Five” and that’s an abdominal series. So, instead of pulling your leg towards you with your elbows, try to keep that C shape with your spine and roll up your lengthened spine towards your vertical leg.
This will help you with so many other exercises: “Climb a Tree”, “Elephant”, “Control Balance Off” on the Reformer” and your “Control Balance” on the Mat. Why not keep practising the Single Straight Leg Stretch and see how it translates over to your reformer work? Let me know in the comments 🙂
The “how to”
Lie on your back with your head and upper body lifted off the mat with one leg reaching toward the ceiling and the other legs reaching toward the wall opposite.
Place your hands as far up your leg as the can easily reach, but avoid placing them directly behind your knee.
Reach your heart toward your knee from your back.
Inhale: engage your abdominals and pulse your leg toward your chest and head twice
Exhale: keeping your too still, switch legs.
Hints and Tips
💡 Keep your torso still: imagine you’re holding a glass of your favourite drink on your stomach – don’t spill it.
💡 Imagine you’re wearing a belt tighten it one more notch!
💡 Keep your head and upper body rolled up and still as your legs move.
💡 Can you detect any imbalance between how your legs move? try to keep them moving in a balanced way.