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If you are looking a for a quick pilates reference, take a look at this pilates animation. This a quick & easy, clearly explained diagram of the pilates mat exercise: Classical Pilates for Beginners:
The Side Kick Series: Front and Back. Pilates exercises focus on breathing, alignments of the spine & build strong torso muscles.
Setup for Side Kick Series: Front & Back :
* Lie on your side and line youself up on the back of the mat. Your underneath hand supports the side of your head, and your uppermost hand is planted firmly on the mat in front of your chest.
* Bring your straight legs forward to an angle of 20 degrees, and stack shoulder over shoulder, hip over hip, and ankle over ankle.
* Flex the lower ankle (toes to kneecap) and press the foot into the mat.
* Engage your powerhouse to stabilize your spine and to keep your shoulders and hips still and vertically stacked throughout.
Action for Side Kick Series: Front & Back .
* Raise your upper leg to hip height and turn it out as far as it will go. Your toes and kneecap now face upward. Slightly reduce the amount of turnout, and maintain it for the rest of the front and back kick.
* Breathe naturally, kick a long leg foward and pulse for two beats.
* Breathe naturally, reach a long leg back and pulse it for two beats.
Classic Pilates Cueing:
* Front front, back back.
* Like a clock: Tick tick, tock tock
* Move at the hip joint, keep the pelvis still.
* Works the lateral hip rotator and hip adductor muscles - often weak lazy, and a common cause of hip and buttock pain.
* Practices pelvic stability and stabilizes the lumbar spine - important for low back pain.
* Stay stacked and stable - Imagine that buttocks and shoulders are lined up against the wall behind you. Better still, practice the side kick series with your b
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