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How to Do an Up & Down Side Kick in Pilates

Learn how to do the up and down side kick Pilates Mat exercise from Core Pilates NYC instructor Sarah Ruback in this Howcast workout video.


The next in the side kick series is Up, Down. So you're in the same set up as front back, side lying with your back long to the back edge of the mat. The legs are forward to an angle so they're not totally straight. They are in front of you a little bit so you have more support through the hips.

Your top hand is pressing into the mat. Your bottom hand is actively lengthening your neck. Your form is all set. Up, down. You'll flex your top heel and lift it up hip height, hold it there then point your toe, and resist the leg down. Flex the heel, lift the leg up, point the toe and resist the leg down and keep going here.

Now, I know what you want to do is to kick your leg up nice and high and go all the way down. Not the case here with Pilate, particularly at this level. Our goal is to work more on length. So rather then thinking about the vertical, think about the horizontal of this. Your hip pulling back and imagine that you're growing your leg four feet in front of you

Then we'll reverse this. So you'll point to lift and flex to lower. And once you get the movement of the leg, which won't take too long, then bring your focus to the rest of your body. What is your abdominal wall doing? How's your neck feeling? Are you stretching? Are you lengthening? That conversation.

That's it. One more time, Madeline. Up and down. Then lower your leg back down. And again, do about five to ten repetitions of that exercise.

And that's our Up, Down.

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