Hip Lift Builds a Strong Core

hip liftHip lift is a great challenge for anyone wanting to build core strength. For many people, whenever the glutes start to fire, the tendency is to tuck the tailbone under. This movement resembles the beginning of Bridge or Hip rolls.

Unfortunately, this tucked pelvis leads to dysfunction. With the pelvis tilted, your muscles cannot work in their intended ways to provide maximal strength and support. Plus, each time you start to engage your glutes and tuck your pelvis, you’re creating an incorrect muscle memory.

This means that when you do something like sit down in a chair, your pelvis may try to tilt instead of staying in neutral. The more time you spend with a tucked pelvis, the more pain and dysfunction you will have.

This is why I enjoy Hip lifts! Hip lifts are a simple exercise to engage your core muscles correctly and teach your body how to support your neutral spine. Whether supine, seated, or standing, your body can directly benefit from Hip lifts.

Hip Lift

  1. Use traditional Pilates breathing.
  2. Begin on your back with your knees bent, heels in line with your SITs bones.
  3. Reach your arms by your sides, and broaden your collarbones.
  4. Take a moment to double check that your spine and pelvis are completely in neutral. You should feel your sacrum (tailbone) press into the floor beneath you.
  5. Notice how your ribs and pelvis form a container of sorts for your internal organs.
  6. Inhale into the sides of your ribs, and activate the abdominal muscles that connect your ribs and hips. Don’t forget that your obliques go onto your low back as well.
  7. As you exhale, press into your feet and engage your core muscles, especially the glutes. Lift your pelvis and low back up off the floor in one piece. Avoid rolling one vertebra at a time like you would for hip rolls or a Pilates bridge.
  8. Lift as high as you can while maintaining neutral position. For your first repetition, start small.
  9. Inhale into the sides of your ribs.
  10. Exhale and lower straight down. If you feel like your pelvis moves to find neutral, you didn’t quite do the exercise correctly. When you lower down, you should be in your starting position.
  11. Do 5-10 repetitions.

Hip Lift Video

Here is a video for visual learners.

Which exercise do you prefer–Hip lift or Bridge? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Sarah Stockett

Hi, I'm Sarah! I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. I believe you can use simple exercises to relieve your aches + pains. AND, I believe I can teach you how.