Leg Pull Front and Preps–More Great Pilates Core Work

I know you’re going to be surprised, but Leg pull front is another Pilates exercise that involves core work. So many Pilates exercises are known for their ability to work the core, but Leg pull front and its preps offer a different kind of challenge.

When we do core work on our hands and knees, as we do in this exercise, you work against gravity. This challenges your body in a different way and creates stronger core muscles. Because you’re in this position, your abdominals have to lift your internal organs toward your spine. This is a formidable challenge.

What I love about Leg pull front is that there are so many modifications. This makes the exercise accessible for many people. For most people, one of these exercises below will be an appropriate challenge to help build core strength.

Leg Pull Front Preps

Prep 1

  1. Use traditional Pilates breathing.
  2. Begin on your hands and knees with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  3. Curl your toes under.
  4. Push the mat away, draw your belly button to your spine, and puff into the back of your lower ribs. Inhale here.
  5. Exhale and lift your knees about an inch off the mat while keeping your spine the same.
  6. Hold here and inhale.
  7. Exhale and lower your knees.
  8. Keep muscle activation throughout this exercise. There is no rest period until you have completed all the reps that you would like to do.
  9. I recommend doing about 5 reps.

Prep 2–Lifting a Foot

  1. Use traditional Pilates breathing.
  2. Begin on your hands and knees with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  3. Curl your toes under.
  4. Push the mat away, draw your belly button to your spine, and puff into the back of your lower ribs. Inhale here.
  5. Exhale and lift your knees about an inch off the mat while keeping your spine the same.
  6. Inhale and lift your right foot slightly off the mat.
  7. Exhale and lower your right foot.
  8. Inhale and lift your left foot slightly off the mat.
  9. Exhale and lower your left foot.
  10. Inhale and stay stable.
  11. Exhale and lower your knees.
  12. Keep muscle activation throughout this exercise. There is no rest period until you have completed all the sets that you would like to do.
  13. I recommend doing about 5 sets.

Prep 3–Knees Behind the Hips

As you build your strength, walk your hands forward slightly. Always shift so your shoulders are over your wrists. When you do this, your hips will move forward of your knees. This will increase the challenge of these preps.

You can do Prep 1 or Prep 2 with this new form. Simply follow the directions from above with your new knee placement.

Prep 4–Straightening a Leg

  1. Use traditional Pilates breathing.
  2. Begin on your hands and knees with your hands under your shoulders and your knees behind your hips.
  3. Curl your toes under.
  4. Push the mat away, draw your belly button to your spine, and puff into the back of your lower ribs. Inhale here.
  5. Exhale and straighten your right leg. As the leg straightens, the hips should stay stable.
  6. Inhale and hold here.
  7. Exhale and straighten the left leg as the right leg bends.
  8. Keep muscle activation throughout this exercise. There is no rest period until you have completed all the sets that you would like to do.
  9. I recommend doing about 5 sets.

Leg Pull Front

  1. Use traditional Pilates breathing.
  2. Begin on your hands and knees with your hands under your shoulders and your knees behind your hips.
  3. Curl your toes under.
  4. Push the mat away, draw your belly button to your spine, and puff into the back of your lower ribs. Inhale here.
  5. Exhale and straighten both legs so you’re in Plank position.
  6. Inhale and, while keeping your right leg straight, lift your right foot off the floor. Your leg should not lift higher than hip level.
  7. Leg pull frontExhale and point your right foot as you shift your weight backward on the left foot. This will cause the left foot to dorsiflex at the ankle.
  8. Inhale to return and dorsiflex the right ankle.
  9. Exhale to lower the right leg to starting position.
  10. Do the other side.
  11. Keep muscle activation throughout this exercise. There is no rest period until you have completed all the sets that you would like to do.
  12. I recommend doing about 5 sets.

Leg Pull Front Video with Preps

Here is a video for visual learners.

However, before we get to the video, I want to take a moment to thank you for reading this article. Personally, I enjoy sharing this information with you, and I hope you find it valuable. If you do, please consider supporting this website! With your support, I plan to take more Continuing Education classes, so I can share more exercises with you.

What is your favorite Pilates core-strengthening exercise? Let us know in the comments.

To get more tips for health and happiness, sign up for our newsletter! Also, you can find us on Facebook at Custom Pilates and Yoga and on YouTube at Custom Pilates and Yoga.

Sarah Stockett is STOTT certified in Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, & Barrels, Injuries & Special Populations, and CORE; a Yoga Alliance RYT-200; and has studied Active Isolated Stretching. When she is not trying to discover the best exercises to get rid of pain, she likes watching movies and travelling with her family.

Leave a Reply