Side kicks are a great wake-up call for the hamstrings and glutes plus provide a much needed stretch for the hip flexors.
- Set-up for this lengthy series is important. Seek to maintain core stability no matter where the leg is in space and regardless of leg movement and motion.
- Lie on your side and align your body against the back edge of the mat.
- Prop your head up on one hand and place the palm of the other hand firmly on the mat in front of you.
- Breathe in and engage your powerhouse, lift both legs in one motion and exhale carrying the legs forward to a 45 degree angle in front of the body. (Ungaro, 98-99)
Side Kicks Front/Back:
- Kick the top leg freely with large, sweeping movements, as you stabilize your torso and maintain alignment.
- Inhale and swing the top leg forward for a double pulse. Keep the chest and shoulders stacked on atop the other. Exhale and swing the leg back, stretching the front of the hip.
- Avoid overarching the low back. Pull the lower abdominals in and ups as if you had zipped up a tight pair of pants. (Ungaro, 100-101)
Side Kicks Up/Down:
- Be strong in your starting placement.
- Concentrate on lengthening out of the side body as well as the leg. Your kicking leg should feel longer than the other one.
- Rotate your top leg so that the knee and the top of the foot face the ceiling. (Or maintain neutral)
- Inhale and kick the leg up without changing the hips. Exhale and slowly lower the leg with resistance. Aim the top heel just past the bottom heel. Reach the leg as long as possible, lengthening your waist. (Ungaro 102-103)
Side Kicks Circles:
- Same starting position. Elevate the top leg just in line with the hip. Begin circling small and swift, brushing the top heel past the bottom heel each time around.
- Breathe naturally throughout. Feel supported with the underarm flat to the mat. Lengthen the neck. Keep a long, loose leg.(Ungaro, 104-105)