If you like the Side Kicks on the Pilates Mat, then you will enjoy the Side Bend. It's another side body exercise and it needs all the strength you learned in your sidekicks. The same bottom leg is going to be pushing down so that you can lift up! While this exercise looks similar to the one in Yoga be mindful that you want to keep the strength of this exercise in your seat and not push up and on to just your shoulder. When you are first starting out you can stagger the feet for more surface area. Also, you can just hold and lower with control. The Lower lift at the end can come in time!
Lift your hips up and stack them as you open your chest and hold.
Sitting on one hip with your hand slightly in front of your shoulder fingers pointing away from you and hand in line with your feet. Your knees start out bent slightly. If you were to look at your hand and feet they will be in one straight line while your seat and your knees are on either side of that line. Pulling your shoulder on your back and pressing your bottom hip up stand on your hand and feet and lift your hips. Hold and then with control lower back down to the mat. Repeat 2 more times, then Hold.
If that went well maintain your legs straight as you lift and lower your hips three times. Your top arm can move up and over and then over and down with you. Maintain your gaze straight ahead so as not to crank on your neck. After you have done one side lower back down to your start position and then sweep your legs over to the other side (you can also Teaser them to the other side) and repeat the same thing you just did on the other side. Every one of us has a strong side and a weak side. If you find one side is much strong than the other do the weak side first, then the strong side then the weak side again.
Be sure to check out more of my Pilates Mat exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Mat training!