single leg stretch

Single Leg Stretch

Start Position: Table Top. Begin by reaching your right hand to right ankle, left hand to right knee as you inhale. Switch to left side as you continue to inhale. Repeat to right and left as you exhale.

Tips: keep abdominals in, elbows out and reach long through the legs. Keep space between the chin and the chest.

Double Leg

Start Position: Collapsed Table Top. Start by extending arms and legs. Circle arms around and return to start position.

circle arms extend legs

Tips: Keep tailbone down throughout. This exercise engages the lowest part of the transverse abdominus and the obliques.


Start position: On back legs extended. Start by lifting head and reaching for right ankle with both hands. At the same time lower the left leg toward the floor. Pulse or stretch the leg toward you as you breathe in. Switch and pulse the left leg toward you as you breathe out.


Tip: Coordinate the pulsing and the breathing in a percussive manner. Breathe “in-in”, “out-out” as you switch from right to left.

Lower and Lift

transverse abdominus

Start Position: Legs together, turned out and extended toward ceiling in a Pilates V. Head is lifted and elbows are out to your sides. Tailbone is down. Begin by lowering legs as you inhale. Exhale as you lift your legs up.

Tips: Keep elbows to the sides and tailbone down. This exercise targets the transverse abdominus.

criss cross

Criss Cross

Start Position: Table Top. Begin by lifting and twisting right rib cage toward left knee. Look toward left elbow. Switch by bringing left rib cage to right knee.

Tips: Think “up and out” versus twisting in order to avoid crunching the neck. Keep elbows to the sides. Reach legs long to totally engage the internal and external obliques.

Model: Cindy Lee
Studio: Courtesy of the Joel Hall Dancers and Center, Chicago, IL