Three Pilates Exercises for Healthy and Happy Hips

September 15 2020 – Gabrielle Austria

Three Pilates Exercises for Healthy and Happy Hips

Three Pilates Exercises for Healthy and Happy Hips

For Daub & Design
By Joanna Marie Nicholson

Joanna’s life-long passion for health, fitness and whole body wellness as well as background in dancing is what led to her to be a fitness instructor. Based in Toronto, she specializes in barre, Pilates, and spin – and is an avid cyclist as well. Joanna loves teaching fitness because it allows her to share her passion of movement while helping others reach their fitness goals. 

 

Movement is medicine for the body and the mind, and can contribute to a better quality of life. Think about the last time you finished a run or stepped off your yoga mat. Wasn’t that endorphin rush reinvigorating? That’s how I feel when I practice Pilates. 

 

There’s a certain familiarity to Pilates movements from my background in competitive dancing, as well as a whole new layer of challenge with its emphasis on the Powerhouse. A term coined by Joseph Pilates, the Powerhouse refers to the center of the body that creates the foundation for all movement. It includes muscles from the bottom of your ribs all the way to your hip line.

 

What I love about Pilates is the emphasis on strengthening and mobilizing the hips through standing and side-lying exercises. Unlike forward and backward movements like running and walking, Pilates includes many lateral movements which can help build hip strength and mobility. Here are a few of my favourites to incorporate into your daily routine!

 

Standing leg raises

  1. Bring the feet wider than the hips. Start with your arms in a “T” shape (palms down) or rest the hands on your hips. Stand upright with your toes facing forward.
  2. Transfer your weight onto the left leg as you lift your right leg up with the foot flexed. Keep the hips in line.
  3. As you exhale, bring the leg back down to meet the left. 
  4. Try 10-20 repetitions before changing sides. 

A brunette woman stands and lifts one left to the side to strengthen her hips.

Side-lying leg raises

  1. Lie on your right side with your hips and shoulders in line. 
  2. Stretch out your bottom arm and rest your head on it. 
  3. Bend the top arm with your hand on the mat in front of your body for stability. 
  4. Exhale as you lift your top leg to hip height, keeping the foot flexed. Avoid rolling your top hip back.
  5. Inhale as you lower your leg to the starting position. 
  6. Try 10-20 repetitions before changing sides. 

A brunette woman lays on her one side and lifts one left up from the hip to strengthen her glutes.

Pilates clamshell

  1. Lie on your right side with your hips and shoulders in line. 
  2. Bend your bottom arm rest your head on it. 
  3. Bend both knees and stack your legs on top of each other. Bring your heels in line with your glutes.
  4. Bend the top arm with your hand on the mat in front of your body for stability. 
  5. Exhale as you rotate your hip and lift your knee upwards, only as far as it will open. Keep your feet pressed together. Avoid rolling your top hip back.
  6. Inhale as you lower your knee down to the starting position. 
  7. Try 10-20 repetitions before changing sides. 

A brunette woman stands and does a pilates clam shell exercise for her glute muscles.

With these exercises, I hope your hips will be healthy and happy for years to come!

 

Check out Joanna on Instagram at @joannamariefit for more Pilates and barre daily exercises or contact her for information about virtual training! Joanna hosts a YouTube channel as well to follow along. Search for "Joanna Marie Fit".

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