My son, César Sampson, send me the video below of himself performing the Pilates Stomach Series, and asked me if I would like to comment on it for Facebook.
Well, after looking at it, I thought … does he know what he is asking me? … he is either a true warrior or a true masochist! Also, he didn’t even want to review my findings. So, thumbs up for my son, César, and his remarkably altruistic gesture.
Maybe what he had in mind and wanted to remind us of, was this quote by an African master teacher “Sometimes it is better to expose ourselves to the will of others than to impose ourselves on our self-will.”
Howsoever … let’s get started. As Pilates-afficionados know, the Pilates Stomach Series consists of 5 exercises. So, to not overwhelm you with the in-depth analyses of all 5 exercises at once, I decided to post one exercise per week.
And here already my analysis of the fourth exercise of the Pilates Stomach Series – the Double Straight Leg Stretch – performed by my son César.
See César’s video of the whole series right below. The Double Leg Stretch starts at 01:08;)
Pilates Stomach Series diminished
Pilates Double Straight Leg Stretch – Facts
Most of the things said about the previous exercises were consciously corrected in this exercise, especially the work of the DMCS (powerhouse). He, for example, corrected the engagement between his ribcage and pelvis via the down slide of his shoulder girdle stabilizers and the upward opposing pull of his DMCS. Also, the movement of his leg in the air is propelled by his DMCS and iliopsoas, and not the hip joint. And the work of his DMCS (pelvic stabilization) is this time also not inhibited by an elevation of the chest. So, all my thumbs up;)
We can clearly see that his DMCS is harmoniously opposing the force of gravity … well ok, except for the last few degrees when the legs flex to the torso; because there the flexion is not adequately opposed by the elongation of the legs in the air. But all in all, top!
The bottom line: Well-executed for the level – the low position of his legs to the mat – he chose to perform this exercise.
For comparison, check the video below, in which I do the Pilates Powerhouse Series. The Double Straight Leg Stretch starts at 01:20 😉
Stomach Series enhanced
And last but definitely not least, let us bring some awareness into this analysis …
Awareness vs. Right-Wrong
The analysis of César’s interpretation of the Pilates Stomach Series is not based on a right-wrong-perspective but from the point of view of awareness and functionality.
By this I mean
1. how many of the errors mentioned is my son aware of when doing the exercises and
2. can he transfer the position he is currently in, into another position? For example, from the Double Straight Leg Stretch to the Double Side Leg Lift without any modification, compensation or adjustment.
Seen from a subjective point of view who is to say, that the way my son is performing the Pilates Stomach Series is wrong? For sure, there are many people, inside and outside the Pilates community, who claim to “feel good” while doing it this way, and there are even some people who would say their back problem is much better since then.
This may well be the case but are they aware of how they are doing these exercises. Could they do them another way if they chose to do so? Could you?
See, awareness (aka will) and functionality are a matter of having a choice, but habit (aka self-will) and force are a matter of “feeling”. So, to my son; correcting the errors mentioned, will give him more choice in his movements; the way he is doing them in the video, gives him less choice.
I close my case for today. See you next week when I analyze my son doing the Pilates Criss Cross.
Check it & fly with it!
Your honourebel Samu Rii
How did you like our blog post today? Did you ever try to transfer the Double Straight Leg Stretch without modifications to the Double Side Leg Lift? What do you experience in your powerhouse when going from one position into the other? We would love to hear any thoughts and comments from you.
As always, if you find our post useful and would like to share it with someone, we’d be forever grateful!