Side Leg Kick Variations on the Mat

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  • August 28, 2020

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.

Side Leg Kick Variations on the Mat - Online Pilates Classes
  • 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

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!

By lesley.logan

Lesley Logan, NCPT, is the founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com, the first free online catalogue of Pilates exercise tutorial videos, where you can also find weekly online mat classes and workshops. When not teaching from her studio in Los Angeles, Lesley can be found traveling the world leading Pilates retreats, or offering Pilates business coaching to studio owners and other instructors through her private mastermind group. Connect with Lesley on instagram @lesley.logan or through the contact page on this site.

Loving this Pilates exercise tutorial? Take weekly online Pilates mat classes with OPC Teachers
Enjoying Lesley's teaching style? Willing to travel? Explore the world while maintaining your practice by joining Lesley on a Pilates retreat.

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pop up summer tour | online pilates classes

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On the Mat we will use light weights for one round of Teaser as they can be helpful for those still adding into their practice.
No props on the Reformer.

See you in class,

xx~LL

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights and a Mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a Reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

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ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

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This month our exercise is Up Stretch and when you think about it - reaching your legs away and staying strong over the carriage may feel a lot like flying!

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Chair: Please have a foam roller and a balance pad available. We are going to challenge your balance safely.

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Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

Backstroke…the ultimate Middle Exercise! From our chest to our knees, front and back, we have to work our “Middle” in coordination to make The Backstroke happen. We’ll use a small ball on the Reformer and light weights on the Mat to help find our connection to this exercise.

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MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, a small ball and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

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Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

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No props needed.

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xx-LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

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    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

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    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

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    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.