I love hip circles. Wanna know why? Read on for 10 reasons hip circles rock, and watch below for a super casual chat where I riff on ALL the wonderful reasons hip circles have become a staple in my daily life, and why they should become a staple in YOUR life, too. I even share some funny (read: embarrassing) stories from my youth, including how “stick lady” became the “circle lady!”
Reason #1: Pain Management
Chronic pain can lead to a vicious cycle: Lack of movement causing pain and stiffness, causing less movement, causing even more pain and stiffness, causing less movement, causing even more pain and stiffness (and so on). But there IS HOPE, and there is a solution: Baby steps of movement.
Although it might not feel good at first, it’s essential to get your body moving gently, frequently, and progressively to reduce pain over time. Hip circles are a great way to start.
Here’s what some hip circlers have to say about circles and PAIN:
“Hip circles have changed my life! I do them on the job when I’m standing at the nurses station to free up my hips and my back. Circles keep me going through the long shifts without feeling like I need to be in bed on my off-days due to pain!” -Amy, R.N.
“I have been doing hip circles for a good few mornings now – I can’t believe how much it eases up my back!” – Jo Ferrone, Wrapped Up Admin
“I’ve been doing big hip circles and they have cured my hip pain!!! My hips click less, no pain, and more mobile for running and staying active.” – Hannah Epps, Farnham Pilates
Reason #2: Anyone can do ’em
Circles know no boundaries. One of my most loyal hip circlers just turned 80 (see photo below), and toddlers love to circle with their mamas! It doesn’t matter if you’re big or small, “in-shape” or not, coordinated or awkward, young or old… ANYONE CAN LEARN HOW TO DO HIP CIRCLES. Even men.
Reason #3: They’re safe!
Hip circles are a safe core strengthening exercise for women with diastasis recti (DR)… Which is a VERY COMMON problem among mamas! Sometimes people with DR are totally lost when it comes to core strengthening; sit-ups and crunches are “out,” and even planks can be a no-no depending on the severity of their conditioning. But hip circles? Hip circles are totally cool. Especially “omis,” which are a wonderful way to work the deep core and hip muscles.
Reason #4: They make me feel pretty.
I was never a good dancer growing up; I was gawky and uncoordinated, and I couldn’t learn a dance sequence to save my life. But circling my hips WORKED. It came naturally, and it made me feel like a woman.
I often use the tagline “move like a lady” when it comes to flowing, multi-planar movements such as hip circles. Sure, men can circle too… But they’re so darn PRETTY that they look (and feel) intrinsically LADYLIKE to me. In today’s fast-paced society where women are expected to do everything that men can (and more), who doesn’t want to feel like a lady now and then?
Reason #5: They strengthen AND relax!
There aren’t many exercises that can accomplish both isolated strengthening and local + global relaxation at once, but with hip circles, you get a “two-fer!” Hip circles not only strengthen the core, they also mobilize and lubricate your spine and hip joints and stretch and lengthen back and pelvic muscles that tend to be stiff and tight.
For example, when you circle your pelvis forward you’re simultaneously activating (strengthening) your pelvic floor and low abs, and STRETCHING (lengthening) the muscles of your low back. When you circle your pelvis backward, you’re activating (strengthening) the low back while gently stretching/lengthening the deep abdominals and releasing the pelvic floor. Win-win!
Bonus: Did you know that there’s a connection between pelvic health and TMJ (temperomandibular joint) health? TMJ issues can cause jaw pain and even headaches. Due to fascia, everything in our body is connected… So perhaps you can release jaw tension by HIP CIRCLING your next headache away!
Reason #6: They’re SEXY… Mmmmm Hmmmm…
They look sexy, they feel sexy, and they increase blood flow to the pelvic area! I’ve had several women tell me that hip circles have the fun side-benefit of spicing up their sex life. They move better in bed, they feel more confident, and everything “down there” is more easily “lit up” with circles in their daily life.
Reason #7: They’re grounding.
Anyone else into the chakra system? If so, I have two words for you: Root and Sacral. Hip circles and pelvic motions are GROUNDING for the Muladhara and Swadisthana (first and second) chakras (see the red and orange circles in the image below). This is perfect for those of us who are “in our heads” all the time!
Hip circles help open up and clear the lower chakras, bringing you back to earth, rooting and centering you in the present moment. In more normal (less “woo woo”) speak, circles may help you feel calmer and less anxious. Cool!
Reason #8: They help you poo.
Hip circles can help you go #2. Sorry if that grosses you out, but it’s true. They’re not harsh (or unnatural) like laxatives, and they bring circulation and stimulation to the digestive tract.
The body likes CONSISTENCY, so hip circles are particularly effective when you do them every morning! Click here to see my morning routine, which includes — of course — hip circles.
Reason #9: They’re convenient.
Hip circles can be done anytime, anywhere. They are the most convenient total core strengthener I know! You don’t need to set aside a special time or go to a special place to do them… You can do them while washing your dishes! Brushing your teeth! While waiting for the coffee to brew! I even have a friend who does mini-circles while standing in line at the grocery store.
Got mobility issues? If so, or if you simply don’t want to (or can’t) get down on the floor to do your ab exercises, then hip circles (and figure eights, etc.) are a great option for you. They’re done UPRIGHT, which is a functional position… The position in which we live our lives! It doesn’t make a lot of sense to do most of your ab work lying on the floor when our lives are (generally) lived upright… Right?!! Yet another reason hip circles rock.
Reason #10: They’re HELPING PEOPLE.
Really, this is the #1 reason hip circles rock. I know I might sound like a broken record talking about the glories of hip circles, but THEY ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
I am filled with joy to share this story from a member of the U.S. armed forces. Please read this circle ambassador’s story. I am so proud to serve her, as she serves our country!!!
Hello Bri –
Not sure if you remember me, but I used to attend your FemFusion classes (when my schedule allowed). I have been deploying a lot to Afghanistan with the aircraft that we maintain. I’ve attached a picture of my “room” which is a metal container welded together with others to make our living quarters.
The internet here is equivalent to dial up speed. I leave your videos to download overnight so when I awake in the morning, I can do my wonderful hip circles with you.
Your videos are a highlight in such a dreary and hateful place. I lose myself in the video and feel as if I’m back in your class, dancing with you guys for an hour. Pure bliss.
So, thank you for making your videos accessible to those of us so far away from home.
I have recommended your website & videos to every woman I meet. I tell them it will remind them how to “move like a lady” and feel great about their body.
Keep up the great work.
Thank you –
I am starting a circle revolution.
My goal is to have 1 million women circling their hips EVERY DAY. Let’s start with YOU!!!
Watch this quick vid on YouTube for some circle inspiration and then commit to circling with me every day.
Loosen up your hips! Limber up your back! Reconnect with your core!
Let’s revive this beautiful form of movement and make hip circles a standard exercise that’s not just for belly dancers but for all women, everywhere.
Sending circular love your way,