We Only Have One Exercise: Beyond the Double Leg Pull

We Only Have One Exercise: Beyond the Double Leg Pull

I believe each Pilates teacher attracts students who are kindred spirits.

Lucky for me, nerds enjoy being around other nerds.

Remember Gail from Pilates Projects: The Holy Shit Edition?

We Only Have One Exercise: Beyond the Double Leg Pull

Gail loves to play the “This exercise is just like [insert the name of any other Pilates exercise here]” game.

You have probably played this game as well.

It's that a-ha moment when you realize that Exercise A (which you are currently in the midst of) is really helpful for Exercise B (which maybe you find more challenging or elusive).

We Only Have One Exercise: Beyond the Double Leg Pull

And given our premise, that's just perfectly fine.

Got a favorite exercise? Great, let's use it!

“Hmmm…” you think…

“Next time I do Exercise B, I'm going to remember to do it just like Exercise A.”


Today's Key Players

Exercise A = Around the World on the Short Box

Exercise B = Twist on the Wunda Chair

At first glance I would say Exercise A is way harder than Exercise B…but maybe that's a kind of happy accident?

In this week's vlog I put Gail's recent a-ha moment to the test.

(Gosh I hope it works for me!)

Try it yourself and be sure to tell me tell me all about it…

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  1. Brete Martin says

    Hi Andrea,
    I enjoyed your post, We Only Have One Exercise: Beyond the Double Leg Pull. I too, try to bring the feeling from one exercise to another for my clients (and my) sessions. I have a question about the Twist on the Wunda Chair. Why did you cross your left leg on top for both sides of the Twist? I’m BASI-trained, so perhaps I don’t know what’s what 🙂

    • Hi Brete 🙂

      Good eye! Yes, you are correct – I just watched the video again. The first side is as it should be and on the 2nd side I should have R leg crossed in front of L. The way I learned the exercise (and probably how you learned it too) is that the leg that is on top is the same as the hand that is on the pedal.

      Perhaps this is a side effect of my focus on finding Around the World within the Twist exercise. I think sometimes that happens…but you are right to ask why, of course.

      Have a great week. And now when you try out these exercises, you can do it more properly than I did LOL.
      Bonne Chance!

  2. ‘Around the World’ is one of my favorites on the mat, too! Love it…Wonderful posts – always look forward to your next gem! Thanks.

    • Thank you so much Bob – and I so appreciate your reading and watching and sharing your thoughts here. Always a delight to have you 🙂 Do you do Around the World on the mat as part of your Short Box on the mat as well? That sounds fun and I may have to try that out. Thanks!

      • Hi Andrea,
        I just do it on the mat without any props though I need to pair up in class to hold our feet down! I like to try and keep our heart rates a bit elevated by not fiddling with too many props, which is absolutely not a criticism of the Short Box…btw, the form in your video above – reaching long with the head, arms and legs, strong without straining, is just spectacular…

        • Awww… thanks so much Bob – I was wondering if you would use the strap on the mat, but I love the partnering in classes – that is a great way to do it and everyone has such fun with it then 🙂 I’m glad I asked.

  3. Ah ha, I see. Nice relationship between the two. I managed to get Around The World sorta-kinda on the Ladder Barrel! It felt “easier” (is there such a thing! ha!) since I had those ‘gas pedals’ to push into and the arch to give lower back support…now to translate to the SB…one day! I’m discovering the ol’ torso def. does not like to twist. I did the “wall trick” to execute only the first part of Twist on Wunda; pushed/rested the toes/ball of the top foot on a peg of the Swedish Bars (for something to push, lift and stabilize on) and it worked well to feel the start of the twist and lift! I’ll eventually get to the rotate part 😉 but trust me Rome definitely fell apart as soon as the twist and shift from bum to hip occurred. This is a tough one but thanks as always for the tips and tricks!

    • Corrie,

      I love how resourceful you are at finding a way for yourself to connect and work on exercises that don’t ultimately give you anything to connect to, like the lower body in Twist on the WC. Let’s work on your group of Wunda Chair exercises when you are in San Diego in February and maybe we can include the Twist as one of your exercises to work on. And yes, the crucial shift is from bottom to hip – you guessed it – and it is all about the reach (connection) of the lower body…when we work together on this the hands on will help you to feel more confident in that part. And good for you for working on your own on this formidable exercise! PS look for help in your Teaser 3 on the Mat…you are really just unfolding and then folding up again…oh and there’s that twist…see? Pilates – excitement at every twist turn 🙂

      And Around the World would be nice to work on at the Ladder Barrel, I agree – we can maybe take a look at that when I see you next. Thank you so much for reading, being awesome and sharing your thoughts here 🙂 xo

      • Teaser with a Twist! That’s a good way to describe this Wunderful challenge 🙂 Yes! Let’s go Around the World Friday!! Mat is kickin’ my arse this week, I was super sore (in a good way) after Friday’s Mat. I’m telling you the “keep the heels pressed and immobile” is a game changer. It’s incredible how NOT moving them just 1-2 inches on the up changes everything. Must. Do. More. Mat.

        • Corrie – Yes – I agree – the heels staying put really shows you where you are with regard to the stretch/length in your back – truly a game changer – depending on the day LOL.
          This must be our mantra: Must. Do. More. Mat. I mean really – you don’t even need any stuff for that!! 🙂

  4. Hi Andrea: I also consider myself as a Pilates Geek, which can be both weird and wonderful. I also try to find connections of one exercise to another. I often thought of twist on the Wunda chair to be more of prep for snake twist on reformer. So it was. Nice to think of it as something else. I see the end range of around the world, as the full expression of double leg pull. And like you, it takes time to like around the pull. But once you get it, it’s Ab Fab. ????????

    • Lynn,

      Oh I love what you said “I see the end range of around the world, as the full expression of double leg pull.” So true, and potentially just so helpful in itself for working on Around the World. Just the articulation of that thought – even though, yes, the Double Leg Pull is in there, of course! – makes me want to try that out too…and indeed I will and it shall be Ab Fab!

      Nerds unite!! xo

  5. Thank you, Andrea, for all your wonderful posts. I always learn something from them and look forward to the next one.

    • Hi there – thank you so much for your lovely comment! Glad to hear you are enjoying the posts and that you find them to be helpful 🙂 Thanks again for reading and for sharing your thoughts here – and have a great workout!

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