This Week’s Actual Pilates: The Side Kick Leg Series

Side Kick Series

The side kick leg series in the traditional Pilates mat sequence is something I will never omit when I teach my Pilates mat classes. This series always shows up in it’s proper place in the exercise order according to the level I am teaching. This delightful exercises series teaches hip differentiation, offers sideline activation, improves dynamic stability, and encourages uniform balance and development of the body.

This series offers the basic few and then several enjoyable variations to add as the body’s level of precise movement ability and strength increase. Today I will just post the basics with very simple instructions, but I will keep editing, expanding and adding more variations for you, so keep checking back to this post and more as you progress within your workout. Stay committed and you will see progress.

How to do the side kick leg series: Align your body side laying on your mat, bring the legs slightly forward, do not bend the knees. Support the head with one hand and place the other near the belly on the mat. Be sure your hips are stacked, nothing falling forward or back. Keep eyes looking straight ahead, not at the feet.

FORWARD & BACK: Lift the top leg with a flexed foot (standing position) at hip height, inhale deeply and swing the leg forward and then a little further. Point the toes and exhale fully as you now swing the leg behind you keeping the limb long and strong without bending the knee. Keep your torso stable, strong and aligned as you move with your breath. Repeat 10x each.

UP & DOWN: Heel’s together toes apart (that famous Pilates ‘V’ Pizza shape with the feet) The top leg is slightly turned out from the hip, begin with a pointed toe position. Inhale as you bring the leg up, flex foot at the top before you exhale to bring the leg down. Repeat 10x each. Tip: Make sure you are staying aligned as in the set up, where are your eyes looking while you are moving? Are you breathing?

Here is some recommended reading, but it is not as fun as this blog: “Return to Life Through Contrology by Joseph Pilates”

Natalie Shook PMA-NCPT is a graduate of Advanced Program at The Pilates Center in Boulder and a Host Advisor for the TPC Teacher Training Program. Strategic Pilates Studio is located in Somerset Meadows, Longmont, CO for more information regarding schedule, classes, one on one, etc. Email Call or text Natalie @ 831-241-8097

Happy Thanksgiving 2019, A Look Back with Gratitude & Tribute to TPC

I will always be deeply grateful to the Taylor Sisters, (Amy and Rachel) at The Pilates Center in Boulder, CO and their entire senior staff and to Pace who works in admin and keeps things so amazingly organized for everyone who is involved during and after as a Host Advisor.

Who I am as a teacher is credited to TPC and their senior teachers who patiently and wonderfully mentored me through their Advanced Teacher Training Program a few years ago. I had completed several other Pilates teacher training programs before arriving at the decision to completely wash away old information and daringly begin again. In fact, I was already teaching for years prior and had my NCPT (PMA) certification. None the less, I felt I was missing key information on what “actual Pilates” really was.

Amy and Rachel and staff have designed the TT program at TPC with a very positive, encouraging and informative content. The atmosphere at TPC offers welcoming supportive interaction between an assigned Host Advisor to guide you through any questions, a wide variety of classes for embodiment (including an online offering for those at a distance), observations, personal instruction (including online offerings and also worldwide TPC graduates to assist you) and several other learning aids. I spent many hours teaching as a trainee under supervision of senior teachers who helped me learn how to see the body in front of me and also understand the actual Pilates movement skills. I learned why Joseph Pilates created his method of exercises to placed in a specific order to develop strength and skills in each body to safely advance to the next with optimum health results.

It is because of my wonderful experience at TPC in Boulder that I decided to become a Host Advisor for their Teacher Training Program. I strongly believe that TPC is one of the best programs available, I support The Pilates Center in Boulder, CO and hope that you will take the opportunity to experience Pilates taught in the traditional method one day.

Thank you Amy and Rachel, you were a big influence and had an impact on my teaching style, while firing my passion to look further into this method. You generously shared your knowledge in such a wonderful way, and goodness as human beings.

More information about The Pilates Center of Boulder, CO or for requesting me as your Host Advisor can obtained by contacting TPC directly, @ 303.494.3400.

Contact information regarding scheduling lessons or classes, Strategic Pilates Studio location or general questions including questions re: Host Advising for TPC for Natalie Shook NCPT: 831-241-8097 (call or text) or by email :

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