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How to Do a Front & Back Side Kick in Pilates

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


This is the side kick series front/back. So we'll start side lying here. So you'll lie down onto your right side here Madeline and align yourself with the back edge of the mat. So in the side lying position this is not the time to hang out and zone out and go to sleep. This is actually hard work for the core because you have even less support. So think of even imagining the mat still behind your back, still remember to draw your abdominals in and up and keep your spine nice and long. Notice her elbow is in a long extension to her neck. She's not curling herself back into the fetal position.

All right, lift both legs up here, bring them forward to the front edge of the mat and lower them down. In our side leg series, or side kick series, we'll be focusing on the musculature of the legs, which of course we really like to lengthen and tone, as well as to work stability and find greater mobility through the joint. From here lift your top heel up hip height. Kick your leg forward to times, kick, kick again, then point the toe and reach the leg back behind you. Again, flex the heel, kick to the front, and point the leg to reach back. Again kick two times to the front and once to the back. Just keep going. Your breath can be natural, but if you feel like you want to cue yourself in a breath inhale front and exhale back.

Finally remember that the work again, is here in the core. Keep your hips stacked, keep your shoulders stacked. Try not to kick yourself in the face and kick all the way back behind you. If that means you're sacrificing your foundation. Once more Madeline, kick and kick, point, reach back, then bring your top leg over your bottom leg. You can do five to ten repetitions of this exercise and this is our side kick series, front/back.

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