How often do you feel like your quads and hip flexors are taking over during Double Straight Leg Stretch? You know you're supposed to keep your chest up when your legs lower and you also know you're not supposed to "swing" your legs up. But how do you even stop doing that? Where are you supposed to be feeling this exercise? Well, when you do the Double Straight Leg Stretch on the C-Shaper it will reveal to you exactly where you are losing your connection to your center, and awareness is key in overcoming bad habits and getting strong enough to do it without the C-shaper.
Focus on using the weight and reach of your legs to deepen the length and strength of your center.
Laying in the C-shaper find the place where you are not easily slouching. You want to have the longest length in both the back and the front of your spine. Place both hands behind your head with your fingers interlaced. Press your head into your hands and your hands into your head. Hugging both legs together reach them up to the sky. Squeeze the back of your legs together and pull your center back into the C-shaper. Notice what parts of your spine want to "pop" off the C-shaper. Feel your ribs breathe wide to the side as well.
Lower your legs away from you as you pull back in your center. Notice where your center wants to come off the C-shaper. Is it up by your lowest ribs? Do you need more upper abs, more up stretch? Or, is it at your lower back? Do you need more seat and stomach? Lower and lift your legs three to five times and focus on using the weight and reach of your legs to deepen the length and strength of your center along the C-shaper. Then challenge yourself to do this on the Mat and try to recreate the feeling.
Be sure to check out more of my C-Shaper workout videos. I want to help you continue your C-Shaper Pilates training!