March MATness Day 13: The One Leg Kick

March MATness Day 13: The One Leg Kick

At first blush some Pilates exercises are no big deal.

Right…

Enter the One Leg Kick.

What's going on here anyway?

Although it was hard to keep my legs tightly together, what's so hard about bending your legs and kicking your bottom a few times?

Okay, pull my stomach in.

So?

Let's. Look. Closer.

The Order of the Universe: It's Swantastic!

March MATness Day 13: The One Leg Kick

The One Leg Kick is our 2nd exercise since – in a radical turn of events – we've landed on our bellies. 

Here in the Land of Swan we're still expected to scoop our middles off the floor and yet somehow lift our chests??

Swan, One Leg Kick and [spoiler alert] Double Leg Kick place our limbs in various configurations.

Don't be distracted: it's still Swan. Our body shape is an elongated evenly arched back position.

No dumping in the lower back please. 

Now where did I put my 2-way stretch?

I'm sure it's here somewhere.

One Leg Kick presented a puzzle to me: how is this exercise like all the others?

How do I find our quintessential Pilates exercise the Double Leg Pull

If you, like me, are also bereft of your Double Leg Pull in the One Leg Kick here's a few tips I've found to be helpful:

  • Reach your toes away with your legs straight before starting the kicks. Not only will you increase the opening in the hips and thighs but you may even pinpoint a teensy bit more of your seat. Huzzah!
  • As you replace each leg into the floor reach away in both directions augmenting and elongating your Swan shape and your lift with each switch of the legs.
  • Use your forearms to firmly press into the Mat creating greater lift in he upper body.
  • Squeeze the legs together more than you think possible. Then do it some more.

Help to be Found in the Greater Pilates System

My helper exercise isn't an easy one but it helps to find your center in the One Leg Kick (always the first thing to go).

Hamstring Stretch on the Reformer

March MATness Day 13: The One Leg Kick

You may encounter this exercise in a few forms: Rocking, Hamstring Curl and Mushy Tushie.

I originally learned a version of this exercise on 2 springs but Hamstring Stretch is done on 1 spring. Use both legs if you're new to the exercise before working the one leg version. 

It's a familiar position yes? 3 sets is plenty here on the Long Box.

Do 5 sets of One Leg Kick on the Mat

Enjoy the MATness!

Use my Mat workout playlist on my YouTube channel for your daily Mat exercises. Even if you've only got 5 minutes, there's a workout for you.

Check out my new poster which features all the exercises in Joe Pilates' manifesto Return to Life plus a few more.

Related Mat Posts:

And here's where to find me in 2017!

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Comments

  1. Alessandra says:

    Mushy tushie?! ???? That sounds interesting!!
    Another great post… I didn’t really ‘get’ the single leg kick exercise until you taught me a couple weeks ago???? and urged me to R-E-A-C-H my upper body away from my leg as I stretched the leg away and back down -i.e. Two way stretch and a further opening of the front of the hip yay ????!!! I also find it super challenging to stay scooping when arching my back????.., but I definitely like these exercises more after the 30 day (plus!!) challenge… so I’m going to keep on practicing!!
    See you soon for more geeking and maybe a martini or two!! ????????????????‍♂️????‍♂️???? Cor – we’ll be thinking of you ???? and hope we can all meet up when I visit later this year!! xoxo

    • Alessandra –

      Such good news – and yes I find the 2-way stretch to be supremely helpful in the One Leg Kick – that way you can’t “hang out” in your low back – brilliant! And I too am hoping for a Pilates party later this summer 🙂 woohoo! #pilatesgeeksunite xox

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