My hip flexors are so tight you’d think I hadn’t moved beyond a shuffle in 39 years. But those weird hips were the last thing on my mind when I decided to take up Pilates – it was more that I felt my back needed oiling. I was so out of alignment I even sat sideways at my desk. Seriously.
I’m also on a major bum-sculpting mission. Okay, it’s more like a bum-creation mission. Because I don’t have one. And I want one. So badly that I even did 50 squats every day for 30 days. It didn’t work. But I’d heard that Pilates not only gets your body into it’s rightful position, it also works every single body part. You hear that: everything. Butt included.
So I jumped at it, not realising that, while I would be gaining a bunch of physical plusses from practising Pilates with Terry Goodman twice a week, there was one benefit that would come as a major surprise. A freakin’ incredible one. A sexy one.
Sex Just Got WAY Better
So you know that awkward moment when you’ve climbed on top of your partner, all boob flashing and sweaty abandon, and you’re just about to lose yourself in it when… your hips are, like, stop girl? Mine do that. And it doesn’t end there: climbing off is a whole lot less cute than hopping on, and you’re left gingerly trying to readjust your body without screwing up your face as your lover starts to stare amorously at a pillow. Geeeezzz.
Of course there are all sorts of cool positions that don’t send tight-hipped girls into sex spasm, but we always want what we can’t have, right? So when my BF returned from seven weeks abroad and flipped me on top, I figured I’d give it another go. And guys, guess what: the above-mentioned buzzkill never happened. Complete opposite. Fireworks.
The first thing he said as we finally collapsed back against the now-forgotten pillow: “Sjoe, that Pilates is working hey.” And he was freakin’ right.
4 Moves That’ll Loosen Those Hip Flexors Right Up
According to Terry, tight hip flexors mean that the top of the pelvis and the lumbar spine are being pulled forward and down towards the thighs, resulting in the glutes (butt muscles and my personal project) sticking out – but not in a good way! – and an increased arch in the lower back (oh hi again lower-back pain).
Luckily the biology of the problem is far more complicated than the actual Pilates moves you can use to fix it. Do these every morning, or tag them onto the end of your workouts. Trust me, you’ll be so glad you did…
1. The Figure-4 Stretch (I love this one!!)
Try and push that knee outwards. Hold for at least 30 seconds, then swap sides.
2. Single-Leg Knee Stirs
Do 10 in each direction, then swap legs.
3. Leg Lifts
Keep a right angle at your knee, so you’re moving from the hip joint only, not the knee joint. Do 10, then swap sides.
4. Single-Leg Hip Circles
Do 10 in each direction, then swap legs. Keep the circles small, tight and controlled. Keep both legs straight.
I’m still working on my bum. No changes there. Though I think I did feel a glute twinge during a miniband glute bridge last week (whoa!!). But anyway, a perfect butt suddenly feels way less important than a finally-fully-functioning hip flexor in the bedroom. Amen.