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Standing Pilates for Hips and Thighs

Renuka Savant
Standing pilates adds an interesting twist to the traditional matwork pilates, and helps you gain a balanced posture. Along with that, if you're promised lean and toned legs, wouldn't it be a special bonus? So let's get started!
Pilates, thankfully, is the one form of exercise which managed to clear the 'fad' phase and is now considered a perfect workout for people with varied needs. Weight watchers, sportsmen, diabetics, pregnant women, people suffering from Parkinson's disease; there are a whole lot of people who have gained all-round fitness from practicing pilates.
Apart from the obvious fitness benefits, pilates workouts have been known to make you more supple and improve your breathing techniques. If you're looking for a hip way to gain a slim and well-toned lower body, standing pilates exercises couldn't be more perfect.

How Will Standing Pilates Help

Pilates may seem relatively easy, but don't let that deceive you, as it is a very strenuous workout. The range of motions is considerably vast, and encourages muscle flexibility.

Functional fitness is the aim of pilates. With simple and easy moves that you can perform in the comfort of your home, you have no reason to avoid exercising.
As with every exercise method combined with a good diet, pilates promote weight loss.

In standing pilates, you tend to perform exercises that focus on one limb at a time, helping you gain a better sense of balance and increase your concentration.

Standing Pilates Exercises

Stand absolutely straight, with shoulders squared.
Place your hands on your hips or on your right thigh, as you place your right leg forward, in the lunge position.

Shift your left leg behind as you bend your right leg.

Stay in this position for around 10 seconds. Remember to take deep breaths.
If you are sure of your balance, try raising your arms in line with your shoulders and try to maintain your position.

Begin this exercise with 5 sets for each leg, and increase the count gradually.
Apart from the hamstring, these lunges will tone other muscles like the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, transverse abdominis and quadriceps. In regular English, you will end up with an enviable pair of pins.


Stand straight with your feet close together.

Lift your right leg up and bring it close to your chest.

Clasp your bent knee with both hands for better balance initially.
Remain in this position for 10 seconds and place your leg slowly on the floor.

Now, lift your right leg again and raise it towards your right side.

With your left hand on your waist, hold your right knee with your right hand.

Remain in this position for 10 seconds and place your leg slowly on the floor.
Alternate between your right and left leg, beginning with 5 sets for each, and moving on gradually.

That this exercise tones your thighs goes without saying, but did you know that it is also excellent for your lower abdominal muscles and your hips? So that's slim legs, toned hips and washboard abs. What more could you possibly want?


Stand straight with your feet close together.

Push your right leg upwards, behind you.

Lift your foot further using your right hand, while keeping your left hand outstretched straight ahead of you.
Now, slowly bend down from your waist, keeping your spine straight.

Shift the right hand that clasps the foot to the ankle for added support.

It's a tricky position, but try to keep your left leg as straight as possible to stay balanced.
Remain in this position for 5 seconds at least before moving on to the other leg.

As it is a difficult exercise, try to maintain your balance by holding on to a bar with your outstretched hand.
Begin with 5 sets each and move on.

Trim your gluteus maximus and gluteus medius ... more simply put, your posterior, with these exercises. You may take some time to nail the technique, but it is completely worth the effort.


Stand with your legs stretched sideways, with your feet angled outwards.

Raise your arms in line with your shoulder.

Now, bend to your right, and with your right hand on your right ankle, slide it slowly to the floor.

The tricky part starts now. Place your right palm flat on the floor and raise your left leg in the air.
Your weight should be supported by your right hand and right leg.

Remain in this position for a few seconds and slowly bring your leg lower, releasing the weight on your right side.
Repeat the exercise 4 times for each side and gradually increase the count.

You'll be able to banish those ungainly love handles, which are hard to get rid of otherwise. Like the previous exercise, this does need practice. But you know the routine - no pain, no gain!
Pilates is all over the place these days. But it certainly lives up to the hype that surrounds it. As with any form of exercise, pilates too needs care and caution. It's never a good idea to go overboard with exercise, and any discomfort encountered while doing it must not be ignored.
Having tried these exercises, try some more pilates moves to have a completely toned body. And remember, always enjoy your exercise routine to reap maximum benefits out of it.