Exercise #1435

One Leg Kick

3 min - Exercise


also known as Single Leg Kick

Muscle Focus: Back extensors, hamstrings, glutes.

Objective: Strengthen the back extensors, hamstrings, and glutes.

Start Position: Lie on your stomach with your legs straight and together and prop yourself onto your forearms, bringing the elbows underneath the shoulders.

Movement: Kick one heel into your seat two times, reach the leg straight, and place it on the Mat. Switch legs.

Precautions: Avoid strain in the lower back by maintaining a long spine. Pelvis stays imprinted into the Mat and stable. Keep knees close together.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

This is the One Leg Kick. Sometimes known as the Single Leg Kick. It's a great exercise for working the backside of your body, specifically your back extensors. Again, we're talking about posture, so we want to work these muscles. We sit forward all day, let's make sure we can do something to the back side of our body.

To do that easily where it doesn't go into your low back, you want to make sure that your hamstrings or your leg muscles or your butt muscles, all of it really, are also working. So they're going to have some play in here too. Quite a lot actually. I'm going to have Amy come up into what I sometimes call a Sphinx-like position, where she'll place her elbows just underneath her shoulders. If your back is tight, you can move you elbows forward.

So just always know that you can always lower this pose. Ultimately, they end up under your shoulders. OK, from that place, before we do anything else, I just want you to notice this lovely line that Amy has from the back of her head down through her spine. Not everyone has this kind of flexibility, right. So again, if you want to move forward you can.

But you're looking for this sense of long continuous curve. Not the sense of it all dropping into the low back. If you feel that I want to move your arms forward first. A way to help that, though, is also to think about reaching the legs. They're still on the ground, but they're reaching long.

It's the sense of someone pulling you in the opposite direction. Amy's got her legs together completely. You could separate them a little, but I would aim for keeping them together and lowering your upper body if you feel pressure in your lower back. That would be the first place I would go. Now then, you don't have to lift your legs, but I want you to think about trying to lift your leg so that before the exercise starts, you've got these muscles in the back of the legs working.

Amy's doing that. I can feel them. They just popped up into my fingers. So it's almost like her knees came off the ground. Let me just get the exercise going.

With her right leg, she's going to kick, kick, straighten. She switches legs. Kick, kick, reach out. Keep going. Notice the spinal position doesn't change.

That's the hard part. She could be wobbling, she could be arching deeper into her back, but she's not going to. Because she's concentrating on holding even a little in the front. She's definitely working her hamstrings and butt right now. I can guarantee that.

True? OK, good. So from here, the exercise simply progresses from alternating. So she would go kick, kick and kick, kick and kick, kick. And kick, kick.

Generally, you're going to get a pulse, double pulse to the leg that's coming towards your butt. The other one just kind of reaches out. And the breath pattern, it'll change from teacher to teacher. I typically would go inhale for four counts or four beats. Exhale for four beats.

Let's give her a inhale, two, three, four. Now exhale two, three, four. But really, the importance of this exercise comes in the form. And Amy's doing a beautiful job working her whole back, her legs, her butt. This is the One Leg Kick.


1 person likes this.
I’m curious, can anyone tell me why my knees hurt when I’m doing this exercise?

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