Two of the most overlooked motions of the hips(in my opinion) that are super important for hip health are abduction and adduction of the thighs. How often are we "side-shuffling" around the house or swinging our legs from side to side? The motions of tennis players, soccer players, and ballet dancers come to mind when I think of those actions. But what about the majority of us who are sitting at a computer for long periods? Or runners and bicyclists who move their legs primarily in a forward and bacward direction?
One of the many beautiful gifts of Pilates is that you get your hips moving in ALL directions. Even ones you may never knew existed.
I won't forget the first time I tried these side-lying leg lifts in a Pilates mat class. As a young dancer, I was STRUGGLING and I knew I needed more strength in the side to side motion. My body craved MORE of those leg lifts. So, in honor of one of my favorite mat moves, here's a side-lying hip strength sequence you can practice at home.