Side Leg Kick Variations on the Mat

In Joseph Pilates Return to Life, only the Front Back variation was there. But, over time and with many of his proteges, more variations have been added.

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Equipment Needed: Mat (I love using the Contrology Folding Mat.)
  • Reps: 3-5 of each variation
  • Warning: May not be suitable for all hip issues
  • Questions: Contact us here

Side Leg Kick Variations on the Mat

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Side Leg Kicks on the Pilates Mat are fun, tough, totally everything your body needs to do Pilates and life better. And, there are several variations you can choose from when doing your Side Leg Kicks on the Mat. When Joseph Pilates did Return to Life only the Front and Back variation were there. But, over time and with many of his proteges, more variations have been added. And, you can feel free to do whichever ones you want. But try to keep your choices to 3-4. These muscles on our hips wear out really easily! Which one will you choose?

Bottom knee not locked, press your leg down to work your glutes.

Lying on your side with your elbow, shoulder, hip along the back edge of your mat and your feet to the front edge of your mat. Be sure that your bottom knee is not locked so you can press your leg down into the mat to help ground you. Find length and strength in your bottom side. And before you begin make sure that your spine is nice and strong. It's easy to sink and then lose some of the magic.

Front Back: the top leg goes forward for two kicks and back for two kicks.

Up Down: the top leg turns out and goes up with a pointed foot and goes down with a flexed foot.

Little Circles: the top leg reaches back and draws little circles in each direction.

Big Circles: the top leg draws 3 big circles in each direction.

Big Scissors: both legs lift and one leg goes forward and one leg goes back.

Bicycle: the top leg goes forward, knee bends and you reach a bent knee behind you, straighten the leg and then repeat. After 3 reverse.

Hot Potato: the top leg taps on the mat 5x in front of your bottom leg and then 5x behind then 4x and 4x then 3 and 3 and so on.

Internal/External rotation: the top leg turns in and out.

Table top legs: Up and down, circles, clams and Knee to Knee then Heel to heel with out the calves touching.

Be sure to check out more of my Pilates Mat exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Mat training!

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