Single straight legs is a challenging Pilates mat exercise that works abdominal endurance and stretches the backs of the legs.
(This is a different exercise than single leg stretch.)
1) Begin lying on the mat with legs extended toward the ceiling. Legs and heels are together in Pilates stance, rotated slightly outward from the hips.
2) Extend your spine, pull in your abdominals, and curl your upper body up off the mat. The tips of the shoulder blades touch the mat.
3) Grasp an ankle, or below the knee if you have tight hamstrings, and stretch the other leg out at a 45 degree angle.
Adjust the angle of the outstretched leg to make the exercise more or less difficult. The lower the leg, the harder the abdominals have to work to maintain alignment.
4) Inhale and pull your leg toward you, pulsing it toward you twice, increasing your stretch each time.
5) Exhale and pull your leg toward you, pulsing it toward you twice, increasing your stretch each time.
Repeat each set 6 to 10 times.
For more instructions, modifications, and relevant links go to: single straight leg stretch.