Jan 29, 2015
Exercise: Side Kick Kneeling

Athletes will benefit from this exercise as it incorporates many aspects of functional training including, strength and stability of the shoulder girdle while weight bearing and strength of the core musculature to maintain a neutral spinal position in an unfamiliar and largely unsupported position. The trunk and shoulder girdle must maintain a strong plank position, while the hip joint is both challenged in stability of the abductors to maintain the height of the leg, and the mobilizers of the hip joint in flexion and extension.

Starting position

Kneeling with weight on one knee and one hand, facing side, knee directly under hip and hand directly under shoulder, body in a straight line with spine neutral, Top leg straight and held at hip height with knee facing forward and ankle dorsiflexed. Top hand behind head and elbow toward ceiling, eye focus forward. Exercise

Breathe in for two counts. Keep torso completely stable and flex top hip, reaching leg forward. Try to reach further on second count. Breathe out for one count. Do not allow lower back to extend and reach leg back plantar flexing ankle. Complete 8-10 repetitions on each side. Essence

Target muscles: transversus abdominis to compress abdomen and stabilize lumbo-pelvis region; deep pelvic floor to aid in firing transversus; obliques and erector spinae to stabilize spine in neutral; obliques and multifidus to prevent rotation; hip flexors concentrically to reach leg forward; abductors of top hip to stabilize leg at a constant height; adductors, extensors and lateral rotators of the supporting hip isometrically to stabilize; scapular stabilizers of supporting side Stability: pelvis and whole torso in neutral; supporting hip and scapula; shoulder and arm Mobility: top hip into flexion and extension Balance: on one hand and one knee during leg movement Endurance: hip abductors and bottom scapular stabilizers throughout Focus

  • Keep torso completely stable throughout; do not allow movement in response to leg action
  • Maintain top leg at a constant height; do not let it drop
  • Avoid tension in upper shoulders and neck
  • Keep chest open and elbow pointing toward ceiling
  • Don’t look down! Keep eye focus straight forward.


STOTT PILATES® Photography © Merrithew Corporation.

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