23. The Hip Twist

 

When performed inefficiently, this exercise can be hip flexor hell. When one has decreased hamstring flexibility, this one can be hip flexor hell. Without appropriate lumbar spine stability, this can be hip flexor hell. This exercise is not appropriate for those with osteoporosis, hip flexor injuries (duh), and acute SIJ challenges. The Hip Twist is also known as hip circles, which is slightly more accurate since you are circling the hips rather than twisting them, but you could argue either way. Who cares what you call it, here's how you do it. 

 

Click here for The Hip Twist VIDEO

 

Classical start/recommended start: seated with legs straight, heels on the ground, ankles pointed, leaned back on hands, elbows straight, shoulders away from ears, palms pressed into the floor. 

 

1. Inhale both legs towards the ceiling.

 

2. Exhale circle legs down to the right. 

 

3. Inhale swing legs up the left side.

 

4. Switch directions exhale legs down the left side.

 

5. Inhale circle legs up the right side. Repeat 3-6 times

 

To improve overall efficiency of the exercise: mobilize/stretch hammies first (with spine stretch forward, single leg stretch), allow weight shift through the pelvis and keep lumbar spine relatively still, use lats/serratus (muscle in armpits) to press hands into the floor, circles should be large and even. 

 

Modifications: lean on elbows instead of hands, legs straight up/down rather than circles.