Pilates Leg Scissor Spreads

STEP 1Lie down onto the floor on a balance disc (or folded yoga mat) with both of your knees bent and feet flat. Place your hands at your sides.
STEP 2Keep your abdominals continuously contracted to stabilize your upper body.
STEP 3Starting position: raise and straighten both legs until the are perpendicular to the floor.
STEP 4Slowly lower one leg to approximately 45 degrees.
STEP 5Return to the starting position and repeat with other leg.
Special Notes
Don't arch your lower back during this exercise. To increase the level of difficulty, lower your legs past 45 degrees without touching the floor as long as you maintain your upper body stability throughout the entire movement.

Alternatively, you can also try adding ankle weights around your legs to give you an additional challenge. At any rate, if you find yourself executing this exercise with too much ease, then you may want to consider adding some form of additional weight/resistance to the exercise.

Furthermore, if you have back problems you may want to do a different kind of core exercise because this exercise might aggravate your injury further as it puts some pressure on the lower back.

As with most core exercises, having a fairly strong or well-conditioned back is important. Thus, in some cases it's best to ease into this exercise by performing only a limited number of repetitions per each set for the first couple of time. Later, as your back gets tougher, you can go at it harder.

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