The series of 5, cue the eye rolls and grunts of displeasure. Along with each separate exercise there almost always seems a palpable change in emotion when transitioning through the sequence. And that poor cat above trying to get his beach bod ready is a perfect demonstration;He starts with zeal and determination only to convert into a melting pile of fur.
Since we have the whole month to celebrate, lets start with the first exercise of the series: the Single-Leg Stretch, and the correlating emotion: blind enthusiasm.
This comes after rolling like a ball in the mat sequence, so you go from trying to be Sonic the Hedgehog to stretching like an octopus floating through the ocean waters. The genius of the order of exercises is apparent, and that genius is key to the relief you feel as you begin the series.
As you can see in the picture, you hug one knee in towards the chest while the other extends away from the body, so you are actually getting two separate stretches simultaneously: It sounds lovely just writing about it;do you see the smile on her face?! I always foolishly think to myself, this isn't so bad today, it actually feels nice...the rest of the series will feel just as good. It's like having that first sip of a perfectly made martini.
Don't savor that first sip too long, you can't just haphazardly thrust your legs in and out. No m'am, or sir. You've got to focus on how you are propelling those things. It's rub your belly and pat your head time.
When your hands grasp your leg as it folds into your torso, you want to make sure that the hand of the leg that is bending in grabs onto the ankle, and he opposite hand grabs the front of the bent knee. And then continue to rapidly switch between legs. Coordination my friends, that is the name of the game. While that probably is most difficult element of the single straight leg stretch, it serves you well because it's working a whole bunch of muscles that you wouldn't even think of:
Once the flailing extremities are tamed, you can set cruise control and enjoy the ride. Just kidding! By the time you've are comfortable and start to get in a groove it's time to move on. My general thought at this moment of transition is, "That felt good, but it was starting to get boring, I'm glad we are moving on to the next exercise." Blind enthusiasm, meet double leg stretch and invincible adrenaline.