Could Pilates improve your hip mobility?
For me improving my hip mobility is a constant challenge.
Because my hips lack mobility high taekwondo turning kicks and doubles continue to elude me.
So I'm always looking for ways to loosen up my hips and elevate my kicks.
A friend suggested I try pilates...
I figured I had nothing to lose.
I knew pilates might help with core strength but joint mobility...?
I was a bit of a sceptic...
...but I was proved wrong.
After an assessment and some basic exercises Louise started on the hip work.
And soon my hip joints were introduced to a tough but effective system!
Getting onto this pilates table was a challenge!
It's sprung so you have to use your legs to keep it from crashing forwards.
It took me a while to feel stable and comfortable. Luckily Louise is a patient teacher!
Once I was on the table I worked on huge circles with my legs.
I had to concentrate on lengthening my legs out.
And stretching a bit more each time.
And of course as always in pilates my legs had to work independently of my body.
I had to keep a neutral spine.
Make my core muscles stabilize my pelvis.
And use my legs alone to take the weight of the springs on the table.
Oh and of course breathe.
And relax my upper body.
By changing the position of my feet Louise made me work my legs in different ways.
This strengthens different muscles.
It also makes subtle changes in the range of movement in the hip joint.
We also spent some time working on shoulder presses.
The aim of this was to work the muscles running down the sides of my rib cage.
Strengthening these muscles is great for taekwondo players because it helps you to keep your body upright on a side-kick.
This exercise also helps to increase the mobility in your ribs and upper back.
It's more difficult than it looks to keep your posture right and your core engaged.
Pilates is now a part of my life.
I think about my core muscles every day when I sit and stand.
And I try my best to get to a session whenever I can so my hip joints don't forget what they can do.
Maybe one day if I keep working the turning kicks will come right... ;-)