The Evolved Pilates Exercise of the Week – Sidelying Glute Series

Welcome to the Evolved Pilates Exercise of the Week.


In this video we talk about glute exercises in a side lying position. Lots and lots of people want to improve the tone of their glutes and do endless squats and lunges to try to strengthen and target this area. Watch the video or read the transcript for this video below:




Hi and welcome to The Evolved Pilates Exercise of the Week. Today we’re going to do some glute work in side-lying. What we want to do to start is to begin lying on your side. Your heels are in line with your hips. The ribs, the back in line with the hips. The shoulders are stepped one on top of the other, and the head’s resting nice and heavy down onto the arm.


In this position you want to make sure that the curves on either side of the waist match, so you’ve got a little bit of space on the underside of the waist. From here you engage pelvic floor and lower tummy. We start to press with the top heal down into the underneath foot, recruit the muscles that wrap around the back of the leg to lift the knee up towards the ceiling. Beautiful. Lie back down. That’s it.


Through the lowering stage you really want to try to resist the movement, resist the falling of the leg. Focus on the deceleration of the load as you lower back down to the floor. That looks good. Let’s do three more. We are looking here at the rotators around the back of the hip joint, the movement of the thigh bone rotating in the hip socket as we lift and lower the leg. Really important for hip and glute strength and stability, and for leg alignment through range. Beautiful.


To make this exercise a little bit harder we’re now going to lift both feet up off the floor. You want to check that the hips are still stacked but there’s still a small amount of space underneath the waist. The same movement again, the heels pressed. From an inwardly rotated position we’re going to move into external rotation, and then decelerate the lower to lower. Let’s do five pressing the heels together, pulling through the muscles at the back of the hip of the leg, lifts and lowers. Three more. Throughout the exercise you’re just watching to check that the rest of the body stays nice and stable, there’s no extra tension up around the top of the shoulders, no tension around the neck, that the pelvis doesn’t start to roll backwards. Is that five? And then we’ll lower our feet back down to the floor.


Let’s keep the bottom leg bent and stretch the top leg out straight, so resting it down to the floor. I like to twist the leg slightly inwards so that the knee and the big toe are resting towards the floor. Again, hips are stacked, the space is there, pelvic floor and core to stabilize your spine reaching long through the leg. Just raise it down again. Reach long through the leg and lift leading through the heel. Beautiful. The leg starts to lift. We can lift it just above hip height, and lower back down to the floor. We’re going to do five. Keep leading and lifting with the heel so the big toe stays down towards the floor. Lower just to touch the big toe into the floor and lift to come back up. Great. Two more.


You’re looking at the work here through the side of the glute pulling that thigh bone up. Looking good on this next one. Let’s hold it up there. Keep stretching through the leg. Draw little circles as though you were painting them on the wall. That’s it. Five in one direction, perfect, and then five in the reverse. Again here, looking at pelvic stability, the ability to circle the thigh bone from within the hip joint without losing any pelvic stability. Flex back in again.


From here, the last exercise, we’re going to bring the knee up towards the body, up towards the ceiling, down towards the floor, and down in, up, around. Beautiful. Six in each direction. Perfect. That’s stirring at the thigh bone now through a greater range, maintaining pelvic stability. Looking here, your hip is a multi-directional joint. Looking at how we can stabilize that multi-directional joint. That’s six Phil? Let’s reverse, up, beautiful.


Phil’s got really lovely range here through her hips. What you want to do is to make sure whatever the range of your hip movement is, no matter how big the circle is, the pelvis has to be absolutely stable. You might need to start with a really nice small range to begin.


Rolling onto your back, the last thing we finish with on this side is a nice glute stretch. Popping onto your back, cross the right foot over the and left knee. Reach around. Grab onto the back of that left leg relaxing the shoulders into the floor, really trying to anchor your tail down. Finish that side off with a nice 40 second glute stretch. We would then of course do the other side.


Excellent to maintain your glute strength for pelvic stability, for leg alignment, and also to protect your spine through bending and lifting. That concludes our exercise of the week this week. Thanks for watching.


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