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How to Do a Pilates Side Kick Internal & External Rotation

Learn to do the side kick internal and external rotation, a Pilates Mat exercise, from Core Pilates NYC instructor Sarah Ruback in this Howcast video.


Last in the intermediate sidekick variations is internal external rotation. So right after beats, you'll lift your top leg up, hip height and hold it there. Turn your toes up towards the ceiling, so this is external rotation and then turn your leg back to parallel. Now this is really a parallel position but we call it internal rotation because you're returning from external rotation. True internal rotation looks like this, where the toes are pointing down, the heel is lifted. But that position does not exist in classical Pilates. So, flex the heel, turn the toes toward the ceiling, inhale, then exhale turn the leg back to parallel. And again. That's it, turn the heels parallel. Keep your leg completely still and long so the knee and ankle are right in line with the hip. One more time Madeline. Now hold it here, and lower your leg back down.

So once you've learned all of the intermediate side kick variations, you can do the entire beginners series of side kick variations add on all of the intermediate variation. Again in the side circles bicycle beats, internal/external rotation. Do that whole thing and then switch to be other side. So let's see the whole sidekick series on the other side.

All right. Starting with our dinner variations, the heel's forward off of the edge of the mat. Hover the top leg up here hip height. The front back, kick two times to the front, point the toes and reach back. Two more times here, kick, kick, point back . One more time. Kick, kick point reach back. Now bring the top leg over the bottom leg for up, down. Lower the leg, flex the heel, lift the leg up, point the toe and lower it. Two more times. One more time here and point to lower. Now reverse this. Point to lift, and flex to lower. For two, one more time.

Now we'll go into circles so you'll hover the heel up hip height and do three small circles to the front brushing the thigh three, two, and one. Now reverse this for three, for two, for one and lower your leg down. Moving into intermediate variations we'll start with inside circles, so turn the toes up, slide the heel up the knee stepping on the mat, then lift your top heel up here, flex the heel, and go into three small circles. For three, for two, and one. Then reverse this. Three, and two, and one. Hold the leg here and lower it down.

Now stretch your top leg over the bottom leg, for bicycle. Lift the top leg up here, bend the knee toward the chest, extend the leg long in front of you, sweep the leg back behind you, pull your heel into your seat and the knee toward the chest and again, two more times. That's it, keep working on your form, keeping the hips steady and the abdominals drawn in up. Now reverse this to the back for three, around and forward. Emphasis the stretch through the legs here and the control. One more time.

Now bring your top leg over your bottom leg, for beats. So lift both legs up off the mat, feel your abdominal draw in and up and begin to beat the heels here. Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, hold it here; lower both legs to the mat. Now flex both heels parallel, lift your top heel up for internal/external rotation. You'll turn the toes to the ceiling, this is your external rotation, turn the leg back to parallel for internal rotation and again. Toes to the ceiling and parallel, you're turning the leg up in the hips socket for this exercise. One last time. Hold it here, then lower your leg all the way back down. And that's the beginner and intermediate side kick series.

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