Fitness Tips

If Your Hip Flexors Hurt During Pilates Ab Moves, Try This Physical Therapist-Approved Fix

It's fun to try new-to-you things, like breathwork or pickleball, but sometimes you just want the comfort of a tried-and-true classic. That's exactly what you get during this week's episode of Trainer of the Month Club. In it, physical therapist and founder of Good Day Pilates Clara Baini leads you through a classic Pilates workout that hits your entire body. In true Pilates fashion, it features slow and controlled exercises that will have your muscles quivering.

One such exercise: the Pilates half roll back. If you need a refresher, this movement is done by sitting on the ground with your knees bent so that your feet are flat on the floor about hip-width apart. Then reach your arms forward and lengthen your spine so that you're at the front of your sit bones. Scoop your belly and roll back about halfway down. Pause, then reach forward and roll up, making sure to engage your core. This move is excellent for building core strength. However, one of the common issues people have while attempting it is it strains their hip flexors, causing pain and a general feeling of "too much."

If you experience this problem, Baini has two modifications for you to try so you can get deep into your abs without pain in your hip flexors. The first: squeeze your legs together while doing the movement. "Sometimes when we have those inner thighs engaged, the hip flexors can just like switch off a little," she says. If that doesn't help, she recommends extending your legs out on your mat.

Ready to sweat? Press play on the video above to get the whole classic Pilates workout.

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