Exercise #1805

Double Straight Leg Stretch

1 min - Exercise


also known as Lower Lift

Muscle Focus: Abdominals.

Objective: Strengthen abdominals and stabilize the torso.

Start Position: Lay flat on back with hands placed palm over palm at the base of the neck. Bend the knees into your chest and extend the legs straight up to the ceiling. Curl the head and shoulders off the Mat.

Movement: Inhale to lower both legs towards the Mat, and exhale to draw the legs straight to the ceiling. Repeat.

Precautions: Ensure that the lower back does not arch and lift off of the Mat. Avoid pulling on the neck with the hands, but rather lengthen the back of the neck and press the back of the head slightly into the palms. Shoulders remain relaxed while maintaining the stability of the torso.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

(Pace N/A)
Jul 18, 2014
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Read Full Transcript

Next we'll take a look at the double straight leg stretch. Another challenging abdominal exercise traditionally found in the series of five after the single straight leg stretch. So Chrissy will bring her legs up to a vertical position. She'll bring her hands behind her head. She'll curl her head and chest up so that she's in deep trunk flection.

Notice that she's not pushing her head forward, but instead the weight of her head is resting in her hands and her neck is long. From that point, she will inhale to lower her legs towards the Mat. Taking care that her lower spine never leaves the floor mat. She'll exhale and draw her legs back to her body in healing to lower the legs and exhale. If it's too challenging to go as low as Christie's going with your legs.

It's a good idea to make the movement much smaller. Just working a very short range at the top and then gradually as you get stronger, increasing your range to go lower and lower again of critical importance is the stability of the trunk and the connection of the lower spine to the mat. Inhaling to lower the legs and exhaling to lift the double straight leg stretch.


1 person likes this.
thank you . nice clean cues
Hello! Sorry, I am confused, when it's said "taking care her lower spine doesn't leave the mat," does that mean this exercise is in neutral spine or not? (In neutral surely lower back is off the floor slightly).
Thanks for the clarification!
Hi Elyse,
That's a great question. Ideally, when coming up into trunk flexion, the lower spine should respond by relaxing into the mat. That way we are able to maintain a neutral pelvis while at the same time imprinting the lower back into the mat. The stability of the trunk is then gravitationally challenged as the legs are lowering away from the body. If the lower back does not flatten into the mat when the body comes into flexion, it is best to work in a slight posterior rotation to support the spine. Hope that helps.
Tanya S
1 person likes this.
Hi M,i tend to feel a lot of my legs(maybe lateral part of legs) when i bring my legs up.... it feels like a "pull", any suggestions?
HI Tanya S,
Just to clarify...you feel the "pull" in the outside of your legs as they come up?
I wonder if softening your knees slightly might help or you could try keeping them slightly apart.  I'm curious if you feel most of the sensation around your knees?
I'd love to help you figure this out.  Please reach out with more details or questions!

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