The One Leg Circle comes third in the introductory order and is most commonly used to help increase hamstring flexibility, promote lower-body circulation, mobilize the hips and enhance stability.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you perform the One Leg Circle:
- Lie on your back with your arms alongside your body and your palms facing down.
- Extend your legs out in your centerline and pull your abs in and up.
- If you have tight hips or hamstrings prepare by bending one knee to your chest and holding. Next, extend the leg straight up and stretch. *
- Cross your lifted leg up and over the body toward the opposite shoulder, circle it out and around and down toward the ankle of your base leg, and then across the centerline and back up.
- Pull your abs in and up and pause for just a beat. Repeat 5 times, then reverse the direction. Change legs by bending the knee and returning the legs on the mat together.
- *If your back lifts off the mat or you cannot hold your pelvis still, bend your base leg instead of keeping it straight.
- Remember, like every Pilates exercise this is a whole-body exercise. Stretch out the body from head to heel and oppose from the Powerhouse. Work to move the femur (thigh) bone, while holding the pelvis still. Keep the abs pulled deeply in and up to hold the back long and into the mat. Soften the ribs to the torso and keep the neck neutral.