Turn the Fascia Cat into a Super Hamstring & Calf Stretch

 (This is part two of a three-part series where we break the Fascia Cat Stretch down into its component parts.)

In the last video we focused on spinal articulation and looked at how tight legs can block movement of the spine and pelvis.

Today I’ll show you an exercise to help with leg tightness by turning the Fascia Cat exercise into a super effective stretch for the calves and hamstrings.

Always remember that everything’s connected! When the back of the legs get too tight it can have a negative effect on the rest of your body.

For instance, tight hamstrings make it hard to even sit upright over your sitting bones, which is where you need to be for your spinal curves to align with ease when you’re sitting down.

And tight calves make it difficult for your ankles to move properly when you’re walking or running. If your ankles are locked up, it can also immobilize your SI joint.

Our bodies are essentially one continuous web of connective tissue, or fascia, and a kink or tightness in one area of that web is going to affect everything else.

The key to making this stretch successful is the oppositional length tension created by keeping your sitting bones reaching up into the ceiling while simultaneously sinking your heels into the floor.

Be super diligent about not letting your spine, or pelvis curve under when the knees bend and straighten, otherwise you’ll lose the effectiveness of the stretch.

Try it out and let me know how it goes in the comments below.

See you in the studio!


P.S. – Learn more about the importance of sitting on your sitting bones and an easy fix for some types of back pain here…

A Simple Low-Back Pain Solution




Hi, I'm Sydney and I'm a Restorative Movement Specialist here at Pilates Tonic. My goal is to empower you with tools to connect and live in your body in new and better ways. I'm a passionate advocate for wellness through optimally aligned movement and I look forward to designing a customized alignment and movement program just for you! If you want to find out more, just give me a call at 423.702.5233, or email me at info@pilatestonic.com. See you in the studio!

4 Responses

  1. I stumbled across you site and feel blessed I found you. I am 68 screaming up to 69th and my sister and I have been struggling with sciatic pain. You site and the way you lead through your sessions are just wonderful. Would you have a Pilates cd that we could purchase that deals with the stretches that help ease sciatic pain? It’s hard to do the work and listen and look at my phone at the same time. Thank you, Kaye

    1. Hi Kaye, I’m so glad you have found the videos helpful. I don’t currently have a CD or DVD available, but will take your feedback into consideration for sure.
      Thank you!

  2. Same with me! Amazing information. I have a Pilates trainer who is fantastic but your articles and videos really fill a lot of gaps in my knowledge, AND I really appreciate the new options for cues and visuals. Really helped with TVA recruitment.

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