Pilates exercise for hip flexors, obliques and quads - PHOTO - Women's Health and Fitness magazine

This Pilates exercise releases the hip flexors, which pull on the lower back. The hip flexors shorten when we sit.

Targets: The hip flexors, obliques, quads 

How to

1. Start in a high kneeling position. Take one leg forward into a lunge and press hips forward until you feel a stretch through the front of the thigh and hip

2. Reach up to the ceiling and side bend towards the ring, pressing it down. You should feel a stretch through the side of the body

Tip: For more of a stretch, take the foot farther away

Reps: Hold for 30 seconds each side, breathing throughout 

Peta Serras, Polestar Pilates instructor (petaserras.com)

Photography: Benjamin McCloghry