The core exercise you should be doing!

Drop the never ending crunches or minutes of planks and get every part of your core fired up in this one Pilates move!



The Stretch

Why is this move so good??

The 'Stretch' is so effective as you not only engage and challenge you Tzone... it also gets your Obliques, Rotator cuff and shoulder muscles, hips and thighs.

Working all these muscles we improve your balance, coordination, strength and flexibility.


Is it safe for everyone?

YES! the beauty of this move is that almost anyone can do it.

Leg is supported on the floor so there should be no back strain (if done correctly). You can remove the Ab curl if there is any neck concerns. And as always you move in within you range.


So... How do I do it?

As with all my exercises we need to break it down before we can master the full exercise. The Stretch has four parts.


Part 1 - Leg lift

Starting in a neutral spine, feet comfortable distance from bottom and roughly hip width apart.

Inhale to engage Tzone.

Exhale to lift one leg into a table top position.

Inhale to slowly lower back to the floor.

Exhale lift the opposite leg to table top.

Inhale to lower

Repeat for 10+ times


Note Tzone is always engaged. Movement comes from the hip (knee doesn't move). Keep your weight centred and remove wobble side to side.


Part 2 - Lift and Extend

So, now you've mastered the lift we follow on to the extend. Start in the same position.

Inhale to engage Tzone.

Exhale to lift leg and then extend the knee to straight position.

Inhale to bend the knee and slowly lower to the floor.

Exhale lift the opposite leg and extend.

Inhale to bend and lower.

Repeat 10+ times


Again the Tzone is always engaged. As you extend do not let the lower back arch or lift. Only extend to where you can. The lower you bring your leg to the floor the harder it is.


Part 3 - Ab curl

Legs are sorted, we move on to the top half. Start in the same position arms by your side.

Inhale to engage Tzone.

Exhale draw ribcage down to lift the chest just slightly off the floor. Arms reach to toes.

Inhale to slowly lower back to floor.

Repeat 10+ times


Always stay in a neutral spine (hips should not roll) engaging your Tzone will prevent this. Curl come from the ribcage pressing down not the neck. If you feel pain or too much strain in your neck eliminate this step.


Part 4 - Arm prep

If you cannot comfortable do the Ab curl do this move on the floor. Same start position.

Inhale to engage Tzone.

Exhale draw ribs to hips and lift chest.

Inhale tighten the Tzone.

Exhale press arms overhead while keeping ribcage down.

Inhale return arms to side.

Exhale press arms overhead.

Inhale return arms to side and slowly lower chest down.

Repeat 10+ times


The idea here is to challenge obliques by pressing arms overhead. To do correctly ribcage must not flare as you press back. Again if the neck is uncomfortable here eliminate the curl and just do the arm movement. Only press arms back to where you can. This move should not feel easy.


Now we put it all together... Part 5 - The Stretch

Remember the points from each part to perfect the exercise.

Inhale engage Tzone

Exhale lift one knee to table top and draw ribcage down to curl.

Continue exhale to extend the knee and press arms overhead.

Inhale to return to middle.

Continue inhale slowly lower to the floor.


Exhale lift opposite knee and draw ribs down to curl.

Continue exhale to extend the knee and press arms overhead.

Inhale to return to the middle.

Continue inhale slowly lower to the floor.

Repeat 20+ times


And that's it! If you want more direction or tips chat to Katy before/after class or arrange a private session.



See you in class soon, Katy



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