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How to Do the Side Kick Fetal Five in Pilates

Learn to do the side kick fetal five, an advanced Pilates Mat exercise, from Core Pilates NYC instructor Sarah Ruback in this Howcast workout video.


The last of the advanced side kicks is the fetal five series. So you'll start with your knees bent to a tabletop position, your knees in line with the hips and the ankles in line with the knees. And begin by lifting your top knee and foot up off your bottom leg, kind of like opening a book cover, and then lower your knee and foot back down. Lift your leg up, and lower it back down. Do it one more time here. Lift, and lower. Now hold it here.

Next we'll move into a clamshell. So you'll connect the heels lift the top knee up toward the ceiling and lower the knee down. And continue. So in this progression we started working parallel. Now we're working turned out. That's it. The hips are stacked. Lower the knee down. Now we'll do a knee-to-knee toe-to-toe. So bring your knees together as you lift your top toe toward the ceiling. Lift the knee and then bring your toes together, toe-to-toe. Knee to knee, and toe to toe. So you're internally rotating the leg then externally rotating the leg. It's kind of like a Charleston move. Knee, toe to toe one more time. Knee to knee, toe to toe. Now hold it here and lower both knees down to the mat.

Continuing in the progression, we work on reducing stability. So, you'll lift both feet up off of the mat and from here go back into the clamshell with the top knee up, and then resist it down to the bottom thigh. And again. Lift the leg, and lower it down. One more time here. And lower. Now hold it here. The last in the fetal five will be a clamshell. So lift the knee up, then extend your leg with a little kick. Then the knee, and lower the top knee to the bottom. Lift your top knee up, extend the leg long, then the knee, and lower it. One more time here. Lift the knee, extend the leg long, bend your knee again, lower knees together, then lower your feet together. And that's your fetal five series.

So when you're doing your mat sequence, you would do your beginner variations, your intermediate variations, and then you can add these advanced variations on after the immediate series. So we'll do the other side so you can see what the advanced single side kick series looks like on the other side.

Lift the top leg up here, turning the leg out for hot potato. Point your toes. Now tap the foot in front of your bottom foot for five, four, three, two, one, and lift. Then to the back. Five, four, three, two, one, and up. Four, three, two, one, and lift. Four, three, two, one, lift. Three, two, one, lift. Three, two, one, lift. That's it. So we count down, and the lower the count, the harder it gets. That's it. One more to the front here, Madeline, one more to the back, and hold it here.

Now float your leg down on top of your bottom leg. That's right, bringing your hand behind your head. It's going to catch you there. Now lift your top leg up toward the ceiling here. Circle your leg to the front for grand rond de jambe. Reach the leg to the back, and lift the leg up. And again. Circle the leg, and lift it up. One last time. Now reverse this to the back. That's it. And two. Very nice. One more time.

Now lower your top leg over your bottom leg for fetal five series. Bend your knees to tabletop. For the book cover, lift your top knee and ankle up parallel, and lower down. Two more. Lift, and lower. And lift, and lower. Hold it here. Lift the top knee open, now, for the clamshell, and close the leg. Two more times. One last time. Now keep the knees together going knee to knee, lifting the top foot up. So knee to knee, then toe to toe. Knee to knee, toe to toe. One more time. Toe to toe.

Now bring your top knee over the bottom knee. Lift both feet up off the mat, and go back into your clam. Lift the top knee up, and lower it down. Nice work. Still keeping the waist long. Now it's getting hard. You're near the end of the series. That's it. Now from here, lift the top knee up, then extend the leg out long, bend your knee, and lower it down. Lift your knee, extend the leg, bend your knee, and lower it. Last time, Madeline. Extend the leg out, bend your knee, lower it, and lower both feet down. And that's the advanced side kick series.

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