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Happy Hips: My 5 Favorite Pilates Exercises for Healthy Hips

I love some strength building in the hips, but I also love looking elsewhere on the body to secure those happy, healthy hips! I've got some great videos in this post AND a Tower Workout specifically designed for the feet, ankles, and hips!



Exercise #1 - Arm Series











Sometimes it isn't just about the hips. Sometimes healthy hips come from taking care of the rest of your body. If you hold tension in your shoulders and neck it could be affecting your hips.


Today I'm sharing one of the first videos I every created for YouTube. This one contains a standing set, which can be done seated if you can get your back and head against a wall.


Check out the first 4 .5 minutes of this video for the Arm Series.


Exercise #2 - Side Lying Series on the OOV


I love putting people on the OOV and having them start a session with some side lying rotation, followed by a side leg series. It's a gentle way to warm up the back and the butt before starting a workout. I find that people are more open to working their hips when they get some supported rotation in.


Try this Pilates Exercise Series for Happy Hips:

  • The Alligator [Upper Body Rotation]

  • Bow & Arrow [Upper Body Rotation + Head & Neck Rotation]

  • Clamshells [Hip strengthening]

  • Leg Lower Lift [Hip strengthening]

  • Clam Dance [Hip strengthening]


As you can probably tell, I made up the names Alligator and Clam Dance!!


Follow this 2 .5 minute video! Don't have an OOV? Use a pillow!



Exercise #3 - Side Legs on the Pilates Reformer


Talk about a wonderful way to strengthen the hips in a cozy position! I love adding this exercise set as a way to warm up before starting a workout. You can do it before Footwork or after...


Place a block in the headrest and "get cozy". I also love the fact that you can change the spring to make it as challenging as you want. I highly recommend starting with 1 light spring and 8-10 reps. Increase reps when it makes sense to you, then start upping the spring settings to 1 medium, then 1 heavy, then possibly up to 2 springs.


Follow this 4 minute video that I cut from Reformer Pilates Teacher Training!

**And don't forget to do the other side!


Exercise #4 - Single Leg Series on the Tower


Tower leg springs can support the legs and allow for range of motion play. I find that when I need a "feel good" set of exercises - I grab my Contrology leg springs and put on my favorite tunes. I allow myself to just be.


Using a single leg spring can help you focus on one side of the body, but I recommend treating both sides of the body equally instead of focusing on the side that might be a bit grumpy. I will do the same reps on both sides when doing single leg spring work. If something is feeling tight on one side, I might slide my spring down on that side to allow more range and exploration.


One of my go-to short routines for Single Leg Springs on the Tower:

  • Side Lying (Side Legs Springs)

    • Sweeps

    • Small Circles behind the body

    • Big Circles

  • Lying Face Up (Supine Leg Springs)

    • Straight Leg Up Down

    • Single Leg Circle [both ways]

    • Single Leg Frog

    • Single Leg Bicycle (if I'm feelin' it)


Check out the Happy Ankles Tower Class under Exercise #5 that has a Single Leg Series starting at the 9 minute mark!!


Exercise #5 - Foot Massage & Ankle Awareness


I'll say it again, sometimes to get your hips all happy and healthy you have to look elsewhere. We underestimate our feet even though they take us places.


If your hips are being grumpy, I highly recommend taking time to massage your feet at least 3 times a week for 1-3 minutes per foot.


You can use any kind of ball to roll out your foot. Even a dog toy ball or a tennis ball! Roll the ball up and down the foot, side to side, or even make little circles. When you feel a spot that is tender - BE GENTLE - but stick with it and breath. Don't over think it - just go with it.


Another thing we can use are our hands!


If you check out the beginning of the Happy Ankles Tower Workout, we do a small bit with the feet and ankles, but the whole class is FABULOUS for the feet, ankles, and our hips!!!

We have got to keep our hips happy & healthy!


I hope you enjoyed exploring these options with me!

If you have some favorites exercises or routines that help make your hips happy - please share in the comments!! I'd love to have you share this post with other, and if you have the time, please subscribe to my YouTube Channel.

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