Side Kicks on the Pilates Mat requires more side body strength than just your hips. It requires your waist to support your spine, your upper back to keep your chest open and your legs to stabilize and stretch out. But, how do you get your waist to support you? How do you know your side body is holding your alignment? Grab a Triad ball and use it to teach your waist to remain lifted off the ball. Your range of motion may be smaller but you'll feel a lot more stability in your body. Then take the ball away and see if you can hold it.
Press your leg down into the Mat and connect your arm to your back.
Laying on your side, align your hips, waist and elbow along the back edge of the Mat. Prop yourself up on your forearm and place the ball under your ribs/armpit area but do no rest on the ball. Hold yourself up by pressing your leg down into the Mat and connecting your arm to your back so when you press into your forearm you are strong. Once your ball is in place and you're lifted, take your top leg to the level of your hip and then kick it forward and back. Notice what your spine does. Is it moving? Are you resting on the ball?
Then, lift your leg up and down, draw circles to the back in both directions. Can you keep your waist from touching the ball? If so, then take the ball away and come down onto your arm and test your length in your waist as you do the exercise. Can you lift your waist up? Is your spine stable as your leg kicks back and forth or up and down? Then be sure to ditch the ball and keep going, challenge your range of motion. Do 5-10 of each variation.
Be sure to check out more of my Pilates Mat exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Mat training!