Pilates Exercise of the Month: Side Kick Kneeling

Pilates Exercise of the Month: October 2012Purpose: 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.

  1. Place one palm down on mat directly under your shoulder and in align with your hips. Fingers pointing away from you.
  2. Place the back of the other hand in front of your forehead with your elbow up to the ceiling.
  3. Straighten your top leg out (parallel to floor) along the mat in line with your body, making sure your center is firm.
  4. Lift your outstretched (top leg) leg up off the mat, hip height & balance.
  5. 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.
  6. Exhale; swing your leg behind you stretching as far behind you as you can without rocking back and forth; gently pointing the toe.
  7. Complete 4-6 sets of kicks on one side; repeat the sequence on other side.

Visualization:

  • Imagine you are suspended from the ceiling by a sling around your waist.

Checklist:

  • 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.

Modification:

  • 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.

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