This exercise continues to challenge the hamstrings with the longer lever arm of the straight leg.
To do this exercise you will need a mat. Start by lying on your back with one knee bent and one leg reaching for the ceiling. Inhale into your belly and then exhale as you hollow the abdominal wall and rock the pelvis toward the belly button. Continue exhaling as you press the standing leg into the ground to lift the pelvis into the air. Concentrate on lifting each vertebra individually until you are resting on your head, neck, and shoulders. At the top inhale and then exhale as you lower the leg toward the floor and lift it up again. Repeat 3-5 times on this side and then exhale again to lower the spine to the ground so that you can do the other side.
Things to think about
The straight leg makes the exercise so much harder. Be sure to be aware of the additional work when keeping the pelvis still and level.
To prevent muscle cramps in the hamstrings be sure to initiate the pelvic rock with the abdominals, which will help you move with the pelvic floor deep abdominals before the hamstrings are ever engaged.