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Flatten Your Abs with Pilates

Double Straight Leg Stretch

double leg stretch
In the quest for flat abs, we've done hundreds of crunches. Although we end up with strong abs, we don't get the flat abs some of us desire. That's where Pilates comes in. The discipline of Pilates makes us focus on pressing the abdominal muscles flat to the spine to maintain an "imprint." This imprint is at the heart of most Pilates exercises.

The Double Straight Leg Stretch is one of the more challenging Pilates moves that incorporates the imprint. Although this video uses a ball, you can omit that and simply bring your heels together in a Pilates stance to do this move. Focus on keeping your entire back in contact with the floor throughout the movement. This can be hard to do. If you feel your back coming up off the floor, bend your legs, and don't lower them as close to the floor. Remember to exhale through pursed lips, as this aids in engaging the deep abdominal muscles.

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