Two-Way Stretch Mat

Two-Way Stretch Mat

Joe Pilates practicing the Double Leg Pull

When you use the two-way stretch you are reaching in opposite directions to fully activate your body and extend outward from your torso. The more completely your body extends from its center, the deeper your core can work. In Pilates, the core includes the muscles of the torso on all sides of the body, including the hips, buttocks, stomach, back and inner thighs.

The two-way stretch is well exemplified in the Double Leg Pull. When you extend the arms and legs, you reach away from your center through your back, legs, arms and sides, keeping an even and stable center. When you circle your arms you engage your back and bend your legs in from the strength of your center. Jay Grimes shared with me that the double leg pull can be found in every exercise. Spend time making sense of that concept as you refine your own mat work out.

One Pilates enthusiast wrote to thank me for the detailed corrections I gave to Melanie and Alisa in the mat class that is associated with this post. Both ladies are experienced students who know the mat order and understand the general principles of Pilates. If my corrections had disturbed the flow of their work out, caused them to slow down or become tense, I wouldn’t have offered as much correction.

Enjoy your mat work out as you build up your repertoire of exercises and perfect your two-way stretch.

To see the class that this post is referring to, please click here: Two Way Stretch Mat

Sandy Shimoda

Sandy Shimoda is the owner of Vintage Pilates, a school offering graduate level teachers programs for certified Pilates teachers of all backgrounds interested in delving deeper into their work. With Jay Grimes as its director, Vintage Pilates is dedicated to teaching Pilates the way it was taught to Jay by Joe and Clara.

Sandy has been teaching movement since the 1980’s, has trained with Jay for 15 years, and has run the Vintage Pilates teachers programs since 2011. Sandy also holds a bachelors and masters degree in Business Administration, which provided her with a strong framework to build the success of both the school and studio that was located at 1950 Sawtelle Boulevard in Los Angeles for 8 years.

As Vintage Pilates expands its school to reach worldwide, Sandy looks forward to meeting and nurturing teachers into building a more solid understanding of Joe Pilates’ work – bringing greater results to clients, and providing a foundation for businesses that are sustaining.


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