I LOVE the Double Leg Kick on the Mat! There are a lot of moving parts, but that is pretty typical of Pilates in general. However, if you can keep from twerking your way through this exercise you will feel a great stretch across the front of your hips and your hamstrings, and your seat will warm up, getting you ready for Thigh Stretch. And then, as if that wasn't enough, you get to use your upper back to lift your arms and your chest forward. It's all so good! And, so easy to cheat on, so double check you are not hanging off your hyper-mobile elbows or shoulders when you reach your hands back and up.
Be mindful not to hang out in your hyper-mobile elbows or shoulders.
Traditionally done after your Single Leg Kick, lay onto your stomach and look to one side. Place your hands up your back and layer them one on top of the other (try not to interlace). Press your hips down and reach your tailbone long, then kick both heels to your seat simultaneously three times. Then press your feet to the floor, lift your palms up to the sky, and your chest forward as you look forward. Then bend your elbows and return back to your upper back and look to the other side. Repeat 3 more times.
This exercise is not about how high your chest can get or how big your kicks can be. It's really a great exercise to strengthen your hamstrings and seat and get you ready for the next series of exercises: Thigh Stretch, Neck Pull, High Scissors and Bicycle and then Shoulder Bridge. If you are finding all the gems in this exercise you will be on your way to finding the strength in the rest of your mat and even getting ready for Rocker. If you allow your hips to bop off the mat with every kick you will not enjoy this exercise and you won't find your body open enough for the rest of the mat.