Try This: Leg Circles

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Leg Circles are a great mat exercise to do at home using one leg at a time, and also a great reformer exercise using both legs with feet in straps. Leg Circles is one of my favorite exercises to use at the end of teaching a reformer class. I look at it as a reward and a way to treat my clients after a great workout. It is an exercise that actually stretches and strengthens, and they feel good!

Why You Should be Doing Leg Circles

  • Strengthen abdominal muscles
  • Pelvic lumbar stabilization
  • Improves hip disassociation
  • Improves hip flexor control

How to Perform Leg Circles


Step 1

Lie down on mat with arms by your sides, palms facing down, legs extended.

Steps 2 & 3

Bend right knee to your chest, then up to 90°, flex your foot. Left leg is straight on the mat, toes pointed.

Steps 4 & 5

Inhale – Bring your right leg across your body, then down and around forming a circle, back to 90°. Be mindful to keep your circle as large as you can, while still maintaining a stable pelvis.

Exhale – Repeat the circle, alternating breathing pattern with each circle.

Reverse the circle and continue alternating breathing pattern with each circle. Don’t forget to switch legs!

Tips for Leg Circles:
  • The motions should be smooth, while maintaining a consistent flow
  • Maintain a neutral pelvis with abdominals pulled up and in
  • Keep your head, neck and shoulders relaxed


1. Leg Circles on the Reformer


Everyone’s favorite in Group Equipment class! Inhale, lie down on the reformer, arms by your sides, palms facing down, feet in straps, extend legs straight and together 90°. Exhale, press straps down to lower legs to 45°. Inhale, open your legs wide and circle around back to 90°. Reverse the circle. Inhale, legs straight and together at 90°, Open legs out wide. Exhale, circle legs down, around and up back to 90°.

2. Tight hamstrings? Use a Theraband!

ElizabethElizabeth believes that the power of Pilates can change a person’s life. With a BASI certification, Elizabeth teaches her clients how to achieve a strong body and clear mind, as well as how to empower themselves with a confident spirit. Elizabeth is excited to share her love of Pilates and help her students to achieve their physical potential through this amazing mind/body exercise connection.
Click here to learn more about Elizabeth and the other ABC Instructors.


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