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Return to Life: #21 Side Kicks

Return to Life: Side Kicks

– Strengthen your shoulders and butt and stomach!

This exercise will challenge you to keep still as your leg swings backwards and forwards!

What’s it good for?


  • You’ll be offsetting the negative effects of long hours of endurance training using limited range of movement.
  • Muscle focus: Abdominals and shoulder stabilisers, back extensors, gluteus, hamstrings and hip flexors.

In short, you’ll be developing lumbar-pelvic stabilisation and hip flexor (and extensor) control and range of movement as well as hip disassociation, allowing your legs to move with greater freedom whilst using our shoulders and abdominals to keep your pelvis stable


Pilates Geeks

  • It’s the third spinal extension exercise in the series and prepares us for the Shoulder Bridge – the most challenging exercise in spinal extension!

The Side Kick – I like to think of this as a Teaser on one leg! Aldo, the side lying position gives you a much narrower base of support adding further challenge than exercises in which you are laying down: either face up or face down. This side lying position means that the lateral stabilisers get a greater challenge.
When you leg swings forward, the extensors works to prevent flexion and when it swings backward the abdominal muscles work to prevent over extension. Totally ingenious!

Difficulty: the greater the range of movement, the greater the challenge!
Reps: 5



The “how to”

Lie on your side with your head supported in your interlaced hands and elbow and ribs on the mat. Engage your abdominals and your shoulder to stabilise your trunk as you swing your leg backwards and forwards. Stabilise you bottom leg on the floor by tucking you toes under you foot and pressing it into the floor with your butt. Bring your heels together.
Exhale: swing your top leg as far forward as possible, reaching out through your heel (dorsiflexing your foot)and pulsing twice when you reach the maximum range.
Inhale: swing your leg back as far as possible while pointing your foot.


Hints and Tips

💡  Imagine the swinging motion of a pendulum – swinging freely and without effort.
💡  Minimise rocking the truck backwards and forwards.
💡  Maximise the range of movement of your swinging leg.
💡  Maintain shoulder stability by pressing your head into your hands and hands into your head.
💡  For a further challenge, lift your ribs off the mat, supporting yourself only in your lower keg and elbow.
💡  Engage your butt by externally rotating your legs at the hip.



☀️ … Try Leg Circles, Rotations, Lift & Lowers and Bicycle!

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