Pilates Exercise of the Month: Side Kick Kneeling
Purpose: This advanced exercise concentrates on the waistline and hips. Emphasis is also on balance and coordination.
Begin in a kneeling position. You should be centered on the mat, facing the long edge of mat.
- Place one palm down on mat directly under your shoulder and in align with your hips. Fingers pointing away from you.
- Place the back of the other hand in front of your forehead with your elbow up to the ceiling.
- Straighten your top leg out (parallel to floor) along the mat in line with your body, making sure your center is firm.
- Lift your outstretched (top leg) leg up off the mat, hip height & balance.
- Inhale; for 2 counts; flex your foot and kick your leg forward reaching leg further on second count. Make sure you are not breaking at the waist. Imagine kicking a ball suspended in front of you.
- Exhale; swing your leg behind you stretching as far behind you as you can without rocking back and forth; gently pointing the toe.
- Complete 4-6 sets of kicks on one side; repeat the sequence on other side.
- Imagine you are suspended from the ceiling by a sling around your waist.
- Remain perfectly still in your upper body as you perform the kicks.
- Keep your elbow to the ceiling so that shoulder & chest remain open during exercise.
- Navel is firmly pulled into the spine.
- Keep head lifted and aligned with your spine.
- Don’t sink into your neck or shoulders.
- Start with small kicks front & back. Concentrate on your balance & control before engaging in larger movements. If you have a bad knee, or wrist injury, skip this exercise.