FITNESS FOCUS: Side Kick This Pilates movement forces the hip AND abdominal (core) muscles to work together to complete the exercise. Because you are on your side, these two parts of the body need to engage simultaneously to hold you in the proper positioning. The side kick strengthens the core muscles while at the same time works the outside of the back and hip.
Steps to The Side Kick
1. Lie down on your side, aligning you body to the back of your mat. Lengthen your arm out under your head and rest your head on the extended arm. Body should be in a straight line, hips are stacked one on top of the other. Place the top hand on the floor for the stability. Inhale and exhale to lift both legs and take them out to a 45 deg. angle in front of you and place them back on the mat. Keep the hips stacked and stay lifted in your torso- don’t let it just relax on the mat.
2. Lift the top leg to hip-height and flex the foot. Inhale as you bring the leg forward, point the foot. On the exhale, swing the leg back behind you slightly. As you bring the foot forward and backward, do not allow the hips to rock back and forth. Use your breath to engage the core muscles and stay lifted in the torso. Repeat for 10 kicks, then switch sides.
FAITH FOCUS: In order for us to strengthen our faith, all of our spiritual “parts” must work together. We must activate our CORE in Christ by ‘breathing’ in the breath of the Holy Spirit. We must keep this CORE engaged by reading God’s Word. Also, we maintain proper alignment through each movement of our day by focusing on His will for us. As believers we each are a part of the body of Christ and have a responsibility to work together. Pilates is most effective when all of the parts of the body work together by engaging the core to support, stabilize, and strengthen the body. Our spiritual lives and the life of the Church are also most effective when we engage our CORE in Christ which supports, stabilizes, and strengthens us.
” The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—…and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many….But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be…..Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (1 Corinthians 12)