Pilates Workouts

This 15-Minute Pilates Stretch Routine Is Like Therapy for Your Hips and Hamstrings

Erin Bunch

Sometimes when I watch fitness instructors—particularly those in the yoga, Pilates, or barre space—working out on, say, Instagram, they appear to be a totally different breed of human. Their bodies are bendy while mine is one tightly coiled ball of clenched muscles that sits hunched over a laptop nearly 24/7. And even though I do attempt to engage in some form of movement every day, stretching is often last on the priority list (it doesn't, after all, help make my booty high and tight, so pass). But it is important to wring your body out regularly, and on the latest episode of Good Moves, Chloe de Winter of Go Chlo Pilates offers a super juicy Pilates stretch routine designed to improve flexibility.

"Today I'm taking you through a really nice session—we're going to do a stretch and mobility session for the hips and for the hamstrings," she says. "It's a great one to repeat every day if you want to be more flexible and open."

Hip flexors, she explains, get tight for a couple of different reasons. "The biggest culprit is usually a lot of sitting, because when we sit...the muscles that cross the front of the thigh and the front of the hip joint are in a shortened position," she says. When they're in this position for prolonged periods of time, they tighten up. "Also, a lot of Pilates, a lot of tabletop work, can also get your hip flexors really tight, so it's important to include regular stretching of your hip flexors as part of your movement practice for the week," she adds.

As for the hamstrings, she notes that some of us are just born with tight hammies. This can be a frustrating disadvantage, but de Winter says you can create change in your hamstring length and become more flexible with time. "It just takes a lot of work," she says. "Do this video every day, and you'll notice a difference."

If you're not sold on spending your (likely, limited) workout time on a series of stretches, I suggest you press play anyway. De Winter's series of moves look so therapeutic that you might find the routine difficult to resist. I suggest you roll out your mat before you preview, just in case.

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