Bend & Stretch

by STOTT PILATES on Feb 01, 2009

footbar position #1, 2 springs, headrest adjusted for individual


Supine, pelvis and spine neutral. Knees flexed, feet in straps, legs laterally rotated and ankles dorsiflexed. Knees just wider than shoulders, heels together and toes apart. Arms long by sides of body, palms down.

To prepare, inhale...
exhale   keep heels connected and press feet into straps, extending knees to move carriage out. Simultaneously, imprint spine, plantar flex ankles and gently point toes. Reach legs as low as imprint can be maintained.
inhale   flex knees and hips and dorsiflex feet, moving pelvis toward neutral as carriage returns

Complete 10 repetitions.


Target Muscles: transversus abdominis to compress abdomen and stabilize lumbo-pelvic region; deep pelvic floor to aid in firing transversus; obliques concentrically to create imprint and stabilize pelvis; obliques and multifidus to resist rotation; hip extensors and quadriceps concentrically on press out, eccentrically on return; vastus medialis and lateralis working to track patella properly, adductors to adduct legs

Stability: torso against long lever

Mobility: hip and knee extension and flexion


  • use abdominals to maintain pelvic stability as legs extend
  • work both legs equally and simultaneously along center line
  • avoid ‘locking’ or overextending knees
  • keep sacrum area on carriage as knees flex
Bend and Stretch

Fitness Circle Lite

The Fitness Circle Lite can be added to the Bend & Stretch to increase adductor or abductor use. Place the circle between the ankles to engage the inner thighs or outside the ankles to recruit the outer thighs.

For more exercises from STOTT PILATES, visit

STOTT PILATES® is a contemporary, anatomically-based approach to Joseph Pilates’ original exercise method. Master Instructor Trainer, Moira Merrithew, together with President and CEO of STOTT PILATES Lindsay G. Merrithew and a team of physical therapists, sports medicine and fitness professionals, has spent more than a decade refining the STOTT PILATES method of exercise and programming. Each month we will outline a unique exercise you can practice at home or with your clients.

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