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Watch: A Pilates Hip Mobility Video to Stretch and Strengthen Your Lower Body

If you spend a lot of time sitting, you’ve probably dealt with some serious lower-body tightness. In that case, this quick Pilates hip mobility workout might be just what you need to loosen things up.

The second installment in Sweat With SELF’s new Pilates series is all about opening up your hips and hip flexors and strengthening the muscles that surround them through dynamic movement. Sina Riemann, a certified personal trainer and Pilates instructor based in New York City, will take you through your warm-up, main workout, and a quick cooldown—giving you a complete hip mobility and strength routine that’s done and dusted in under 20 minutes.

From warm-up to workout, you’ll notice there’s a big emphasis on single-leg moves here. That’s because, as Riemann explains, standing on one leg really strengthens your hips—in particular your hip abductors, or the small muscles along the outside of your butt that have to fire to keep you from wobbling. Folks tend to overlook these side-butt muscles, which can be a problem: Weakness there can overstress other areas, like your knees and ankles, upping your risk of injury down the line. Single-leg work can also help you make sure one area isn’t weaker or tighter than the other, which leads to greater full-body balance.

In this hip workout, you’ll cycle through classic butt exercises like the glute bridge (and since this is Pilates, get ready to add some pulses) along with variations of it like the single-leg glute bridge march. The routine will also have you working in the frontal plane of motion, or side-to-side. It’s that lateral movement that really fires up the small muscles along the side of your butt; you’ll challenge them through exercises like rainbow legs, hip circles, and spider kicks. Moves like the hip internal to external rotation will also help open up those tight spots.

You’ll close out your Pilates hip mobility workout with a cooldown that includes static stretches targeting your butt and hip flexors. We promise it’ll feel amazing after all that work you’ve put in!

So get ready to strengthen, stretch, and mobilize your hips with this guided video above. And if your upper body is feeling a little left out? Try this shoulder mobility routine next.

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