Tips For Strengthening Your Hips With Clinical Pilates

Whether you are an elite athlete or a weekend warrior, it is crucial to have strong hip musculature and Pilates is an ideal form of exercise for strengthening the hip muscles. The buttock muscles play a critical role in controlling our gait or the way that we walk. If your gluteus maximus is weak, you could have difficulties extending or straightening your hip and controlling how your foot contacts the ground with each step. If your gluteus medius or minimus are weak, you will have a hard time keeping your pelvis level or stable with every step.  

Altered biomechanics due to weak hip muscles can lead to pain in other joints such as the knees and ankle/foot complex. It can also contribute to back pain. In clinical Pilates, a physical therapist will assess your strength and functional movements, which will help to identify if you have any impairments in hip muscle strength. Your physical therapist will then design an individualized exercise program to address your limitations and to help you achieve your goals.

Pilates is also ideal for people who have osteoarthritis of the hip joints or when recovering from injuries or surgeries because it is low impact and focuses on building strength while also improving flexibility, postural control, breath control and core stability. 

Here are some examples of Pilates exercises to strengthen the muscles around your hips:

Exercise #1 for Strengthening Your Hips – Side Leg Lift:

Exercise #2 for Strengthening Your Hips – Side Kick:

Exercise #3 for Strengthening Your Hips – Hip Extension and Swimming:

Exercise #4 for Strengthening Your Hips – Mini Squat with Toe Taps:

Article submitted by Melanie GrisMPT, BSc. Kinesiology, Registered Physical Therapist, Clinical Pilates Instructor

Videos done by Jen Wong – Physiotherapist, Clinical Pilates Instructor