Trifocus Fitness Academy - sidekicks

How to perform the sidekicks exercise in Pilates

The sidekick series challenges the body by putting it in an unnatural position and performing exercises on the side of the body. It isolates one side at a time which challenges an individual’s motor coordination and balance. Exercises ultimately isolate the side of the body which can train weakness of both the right side and the left side of the body in isolation.

Starting position

  • Lie on the side of your body (left side to start). Your legs must be extended and adducted with your feet plantar flexed. Rest your head and neck on your left arm. Your right arm must be supported by the weight of your body and your palms must be flat on the mat.
  • Abduct your top leg and extend forward, pulsing twice. Keep your abdominals connected continuously.
  • Exhale and extend that leg behind your body just beyond 180 degrees while still connecting your abdominals.
  • Inhale and return to your starting position.
  • Switch sides

Muscles worked

  • Abdominals (mainly transverse abdominis and obliques)
  • Glutes
  • Hip flexors
  • Hamstring group
  • Extensors of the foot and ankle

Watchpoints

  • Do not roll your hips.
  • Stabilise your scapulae.
  • Concentrate on balance and breathing correctly.
  • Keep your moving leg level throughout the exercise.

Modifications

Your head can rest on a small pillow or towel if you want to support your neck.

It’s recommended that you perform between six and 12 reps on each side.

There are three other sidekick series that you can try:

Sidekick series 2

  • Lie on the side of your body (left side to start). Extend and adduct your legs with your feet plantarflexed. Support your head and neck on your left arm. Your right arm must support the weight of your body and your palms must be flat on the mat.
  • Inhale and abduct your leg away from your body. Keep your abdominals connected.
  • Exhale and adduct your leg towards your body.

Sidekick series 3

  • Lie on the side of your body (left side to start). With your legs extended and adducted, as well as your feet plantarflexed, rest your head and neck on your left arm. Your palms must be flat on the floor.
  • Inhale and abduct your leg away from your body. Keep your abdominals connected.
  • While keeping your abdominals connected, circle the abducted leg in a half-circle.
  • Keeping the abdominals connected, circle the abducted leg in the opposite direction.

Sidekick series 4

  •  Lie on the side of your body (left side to start). Your legs must be extended and adducted with your feet plantarflexed. Your head and neck are resting and supported by your left arm. Your right arm will be supporting the weight of your body with your palms flat on the mat.
  • Inhale to prepare.
  • While keeping the abdominals connected and both legs adducted, lift them both off the mat as high as possible.
  • Inhale and while still keeping the abdominals connected lower the legs back to the mat.

Contact Trifocus Fitness Academy

Do you want to learn more Pilates exercises so that you can upskill yourself in this exercise modality and even become a Pilates Instructor yourself? If you do, why not check out our Pilates Instructor Course. For more information, please follow this link.

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