How to Do an Inner Thigh Lift in Pilates
Don't tense in the shoulders
Hi! This is Laurie Johnson for About.com. Today, I'm going to show you how to do the inner thigh lift in Pilates.First of all, when doing Pilates exercises, you want to have a good, durable mat--one that will provide enough padding to be comfortable, but one that will be firm enough to give you support in your alignment. You'll start by lying down on your side. Beginners can take their legs slightly forward, at a 30 degree angle. Once you become more advanced at this exercise, you can take your legs right underneath you. This will be more challenging for stability.Next, you can either have your head propped up like me, or you can extend your arm out long and lay your head down here--whichever is more comfortable for you.Take your top leg and bring it forward. You can have your knee to the floor, your foot to the floor, or you can use a pillow or another small prop underneath your knee. The important thing is that this top hip is staying stacked on top of your bottom hip. You don't want this top hip to roll forward or roll backward. So find the position that works for you--you can hold your ankle here if you need to as well.Then, you're going to extend long through that bottom leg, reach through the heel. As you exhale, raise that leg slightly--inhale, lower it down. Initiate by reaching long through that heel as you lift, and inhale as you release down. Now as that leg is lifting, keep that weight in this bottom hip. Don't shift your weight onto the bottom waist. That would look like this. Everything in your pelvis should be stable as that leg lifts and releases. Also, watch your shoulders. Don't tense in the shoulders as your leg lifts.To make this exercise even more challenging, prop yourself even higher. Use this bottom arm to support you, Watch that you don't collapse onto your bottom shoulder and ribcage. Keep the lift here, and your abdominal muscles supporting this position. Then again, initiate by reaching long through your bottom heel, lift, and release that leg down. After you've done about 10-15 lifts, you can try the other side.Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.