4 minutes ago
Side Kick is a valuable exercise for developing core stability. Lying on one side makes it difficult to maintain balance in a forward–backward direction because of the narrow base of support. The leg swing makes this balance challenge more difficult, making muscles on the sides, front, and back of the spine work in a coordinated manner to maintain equilibrium. If adequate stability of the spine and pelvis is maintained, Side Kick also offers dynamic flexibility benefits for the hamstrings and hip flexors. In this side-lying position, the hip abductors of the top leg have to work to prevent the leg from lowering because of gravity. Increased muscular endurance and tone in these muscles are desirable additional benefits.
➡️Start position: lie on one side, with both legs slightly forward relative to the trunk and the feet gently pointed. Bend both elbows, interlace the fingers behind the head, and lift the head off the mat (use the spinal lateral flexors on the side closest to the mat to pull the pelvis up slightly toward the rib cage so the waist begins to lift off the mat. Attempt to maintain this distance between the pelvis and rib cage throughout the exercise);
➡️Inhale: bring the top leg forward, slightly backward, and then, moving gently, forward just a little farther;
➡️Exhale: bring the top leg backward, slightly forward, and then, moving gently, backward just a little farther (imagine the leg swinging forward freely at the hip joint, with a gentle recoil at the end of the range of movement before going farther in the same direction, and then swinging backward to repeat the same recoil action, with little movement of the trunk). Repeat the sequence 10 times. Do the same on the opposite leg.
As variations, perform the exercise with the upper trunk lifted off the mat as you rest on the elbow as shown for greater challenge for the spinal lateral flexors, the scapular stabilizers, and balance. Flexing the foot (ankle–foot dorsiflexion) as the leg comes forward will emphasize the dynamic hamstring stretch. Reverse the breath pattern, with a percussive breath accompanying the double pulse in both directions.
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