Before beginning the best ways to aster the perfect pilates leg kick, you will have to warm up. Stretching, yoga, simple cardio, anything that gets the ball rolling and your muscles warmed up will do.
What even is pilates?
Pilates is an exercise that helps build strength and stability. It is low impact movement that improves flexility, balance and posture. One of the exercises that hits several target areas is the pilates leg kick. The pilates leg kick can be done in two ways. A single pilates leg kick or a double pilates leg kick.
How does this move help me?
The single pilates leg kick will strengthen your core and leg muscles while stretching out those hamstrings and, if done correctly, can tone your arm and chest muscles.
The double pilates leg kick will greatly improve your posture and strengthen the back and chest muscles, which releases tension on the spine. This exercise will also tone your abs, arms, and chest.
Important tips to know:
If you are at a beginning level, start with a single pilates leg kick. Three repetitions on each leg is a good amount to start and as you begin to increase strength you can increase the amount of repetitions you complete. Then, eventually you can increase intensity by moving to the double leg kick.
Keep in mind, if you have knee problems or feel uncomfortable, this may not be the best move for you and there are plenty other pilates moves you can try that refrain from injury!
So pull out your mat and lay on your stomach because this is how you do a pilates leg kick!
Single Pilates Leg Kick
1. Place your forearms flat on the floor and your hands, either in fists or flat, underneath your head.
2. Press your pelvic bone into the floor and lift your stomach up.
3. Lift your knees slightly off the floor and point your toes
4. Bend one leg at the knee. Exhale and pulse that foot twice, moving your heel toward your glutes. Keep that pelvis pressed to that floor and don’t let your opposite leg touch the ground!
5. Inhale, lower your leg, and repeat on the opposite side.
When this becomes too easy you can move on to the more complex pilates leg kick.
Double pilates leg kick
1. You remain on your stomach and your elbows still touch the floor, but for this version you place your hands stacked on one another as close to your shoulder blades as possible.
2. Keep that pelvic bone pressed to the floor and your stomach up to engage your abs
3. Squeeze both legs together and lift your knees slightly off the floor keeping your toes pointed
4. Bend both knees towards your glutes at the same time keeping your legs glued together. Pulse your feet three times
5. Inhale and pick your head and chest off of the floor
6. Reach your hands back towards your feet and past the glutes as far as you can
7. Exhale and lower your legs and upper body returning your hands to the starting position. Your knees, shins, and feet should still be hovering above the floor.
When you are finished with either one of these core strength building exercises, you can rest in child’s pose or stretch out your back with a cat-cow pose.
This pilates leg kick should be used with a series of other exercises that engage your core, glutes, hamstrings, and / or quads and you will be on your way to not only a rockin’ bod, but a stable healthy one too!