Use Pilates Hip Twist to Trim Your Thighs

hip twistHip twist is one of the original Pilates mat exercises. It features circumduction at the hip joint, which is the best way to trim your thighs. Even though this is a great benefit, I tend to not teach or practice this exercise.

Personally, as someone with grippy hip flexors (specifically the psoas), I find that this exercise does more harm than good for me. Because it’s such an intense workout for the hip flexors, my body tends to grip. My psoas grabs my piriformis and, before I know it, my sacrum (SI joint) slides out of place.

Be aware, this classic exercise may not be suitable for everyone.

Hip Twist

  1. Use traditional Pilates breathing.
  2. Begin in an upright seated position with your leg straight in front of you.
  3. Broaden your collarbones and reach your arms behind you. They will be supporting you through this exercise. If you feel like your shoulders are too tight to stay in an open position, lower down onto your forearms.
  4. Inhale to lift one leg up to Table top.
  5. Exhale to lift the other leg. Straighten both legs, bringing them as close toward your body as you can.
  6. Inhale here.
  7. Exhale to begin circling your legs in a clockwise motion. Make sure to keep your legs parallel and together throughout this exercise. As your legs lower, resist the temptation to allow your pelvis to rotate. Stay just behind your SITs bones throughout this exercise.
  8. Inhale to finish the circle and return to your starting position.
  9. Exhale to circle your legs counterclockwise. Again, make sure that you legs stay together and parallel and that you remain seated just behind your SITs bones.
  10. Inhale to finish the circle and return to your starting position.
  11. Make sure to continue alternating the direction of your circle as you complete 2-4 more repetitions.

Hip Twist Video

Here is a video for visual learners.

What do you think of Hip twist? Let us know in the comments.

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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.