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Why do my hips grip in certain exercises?

Do you feel 1 leg circle in the front of the hips? Or feel that when you perform leg slides you feel it all in the front of the hip?

This can happen when the opposing muscles at the back of the hip aren't firing as well as they should so the hip flexors help them out.

So what can we do about it?

Try these 4 tips to help:

1. Strengthen the glutes - these are the opposing muscles to the hip flexors at the front of the hip. The hip flexors flex the hip (bringing the hip towards the body) whilst the glutes (particularly glute max) extend the hip and take the leg away from the midline of the body.

Try prone (lying on your tummy) leg lifts, donkey kicks on all fours, bridge or a 1 legged squat.

2. Use a band when doing 1 leg circle or Single Leg Stretch, loop the band around the back of the knee (if the leg is bent for 1 leg circle) or around the foot if doing Single Leg Stretch. Flex the foot to get more connection. See point 3, we want to feel the movement coming from the back of the hip.

3. Float leg into tabletop, can we feel the thigh bone dropping down into the floor? Almost imagine it anchoring into the mat, like you're stirring porridge! Try to move from here and move in and out of it as you need to, using a hip stretch if you need it.

4. In 1 leg circle bend your knee and place your hand on top of the knee to guide it, side to side first then try small circles - they don't have to be massive!

This can help with anchoring the leg into the mat and moving from the back of the leg, releasing tension in the front of the hip. In Single Leg Stretch try flexing the foot and sliding the leg along the mat, this is a great way to really connect into the back of the body and fire up those muscles!

Try these tips and see how you get on, hope they help your 1 Leg Circle and Single Leg Stretch to feel much easier!

For more tips and support join one of our fab small group classes where you can move with other like minded lovely people and learn more about how Pilates is an investment in yourself.

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