I wish I got a dollar for every time someone asked me how to make their ‘saddle bags go away,’ or how do they make their ‘hips smaller,’ ‘stronger’ and more ‘toned.’ These are the most common requests I get from my female clients. Though the shape of our hips can somewhat be dictated by our genetics, there is a lot one can do to tone their thigh area.
In my opinion the best series to take part in, to create leaner legs, is the side kick series by Joseph Pilates. Not only does it work the hip area (obviously!) It also works your core and lengthens your legs.
These exercises can be very advance and if done properly there will always leave you with the good ol’ burn feeling, these never get old.
They are very challenging. Please remember alignment and form is the key to doing these correctly. The size of the movement doesn’t matter as much as the correctness of your posture form and alignment.
1. Side Leg Swing
- lay on your matt or floor on the side of your body.
- bring your legs forward in front of your body, like a droopy “L.”
- make sure your hips are stacked on top of one another, as well as your shoulders and legs.
- lift your top leg up but keep it your hip height. So only a few inches.
- “FRONT KICK,” bring your leg forward and do a double pulse, “front, front,”
- then bring your leg back for the “LENGTHEN BACK,” and another double pulse back making sure your lower back doesn’t
- collapse and your hips stay in alignment.
- I like to keep the foot and leg as relaxed as possible and repeat 6-10 x’s
2. Side Kick up/down
- Staying in the same position, kick your top leg up quick staying in the proper alignment. With your top foot turned out from your hip.
- Lengthening your leg out from your hip, point your foot. It’s a kick up and a slow pull-down.
- Always pulling your abdominals in towards your spin and up towards your chest. It’s a quick kick up and a slow pull down from your inner thigh.
3. Small Circles
small circles- with the same leg you will keep your heels stacked on top of each other, turn your top foot up towards the ceiling, keeping your heels touching one another- your top foot will make a small circle the size of a cantaloupe. and the motion is up/down with an accent on the up.
do 10 in each direction.
4. Grand Rande-Jam (advanced)
- Staying in same position
- Bring your top leg as far forward as possible keeping your hips stacked on top of one another, your stomach pulled in, then
- Bring your leg up to the ceiling, using your stomach and lengthening your back.
- Bring your leg down slowly behind your other foot, as far as you can possibly go connecting to the glute but not sacrificing your form in any way.
- Turn your foot forward, bring your leg all the way forward and repeat making the same large circle
do 6-10 of these.