When I first learned the Single Leg Stretch on the Pilates Mat exercise I thought it was a piece of cake! After ten years of doing the Single Leg Stretch, I can assure you it is anything but easy. Yes, it's labeled as a beginner and almost anyone can do it. But, the truth is there are so many moving pieces. It will challenge the connection to your center! It will also challenge your back. Yep, your back connection that is. Because it also goes by the name Single Leg Pull. You pull on your leg from your back!
Pull from your back and reach your leg from your seat to connect more!
There are two ways to get into the Single Leg Pull/Stretch. If you are flowing into it from Rolling Like a Ball, then grab your right ankle with your right hand and your right knee with your left hand (you can start with your left leg if you want, simply reverse the hands). Stretch the free leg out to the high diagonal and roll yourself down until your shoulders touch the mat. The other way to get into it is from the ground. Bend both knees into your chest and then grab the ankle with its same hand and your opposite hand grabs the top of your shin by your knee. Stretch the opposite leg out to the high diagonal.
From this start, position pull on your leg twice from your back. This is tricky as your biceps will really want to get involved. Then switch your legs and your hands and pull the other leg in twice. Repeat this for three to five times each leg and then you can either rest your head down or go right into the rest of the abdominal series. The Double Leg Stretch aka Double Leg Pull will come next.
Be sure to check out more of my Pilates Mat exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Mat training!