Pilates Single Leg Circles exercise is an incredible exercise works wonders for your mobility, leg strength and pelvic stability. All three of these Pilates leg circles benefits are vital in your everyday balance and coordination. One leg circle is accessible for beginners and advanced Pilates goers alike. It’s a Pilates mat exercise, so it’s great exercise to include while traveling. In this blog post we’ll go over exactly what makes the Pilates Single Leg Circle so beneficial, plus show you step by step how to do it yourself.
What muscles do Pilates leg circles work?
Pilates leg circles strengthen and stretch the muscles in your legs and hips during a Pilates mat class. It’s done one leg at a time, usually 5-8 repetitions in each direction. You’ll circle the leg in one fluid motion down to the mat, then pull it back up towards the body using both leg and core muscles.
Pilates leg circles can help strengthen hip flexors and leg muscles including the quadriceps, hamstring, abductors and adductors. Pilates leg circles engage the deep core muscles which stabilize the spine and pelvis. Both are crucial in maintaining balance and stability throughout the day.
What do Pilates leg circles do?
Pilates leg circles engage your core and leg muscles during a series of circling movements in order to build strength and stability. Pilates leg circles use both static and dynamic strength to challenge one leg and hip at a time, with the goal being to create balance in the body and improve flexibility.
During Pilates single leg circle, the circling leg can increase hip mobility as it moves. Simultaneously, the moving leg will be strengthened while circling. The leg remaining on the mat helps stabilize the body, thus increasing added hip stability and strength. While the stable leg is traditionally done with the leg straight on the mat, this requires ample hamstring flexibility. If needed, bend the knee and place the foot on the mat. As your flexibility increases, work towards straightening the stabilizing leg.
How to do single leg circles Pilates
Keeping both legs completely straight is the traditional position, however this requires ample flexibility. A slight bend in the circling leg is an appropriate modification, as well as bending the stabilizing leg and placing the foot on the mat. As your flexibility increases, work towards straightening the stabilizing leg.
For the advanced Pilates student, a Pilates curl in the upper body can be added for an additional challenge to the core muscles. A further challenge is lifting the stabilizing leg a few inches off the floor, while the opposite leg circles. This requires not only strength, but concentration and coordination. With practice, these one leg circle challenges can be a fun and invigorating addition to your Pilates mat practice!
Pilates single-leg circle is a great exercise for anyone looking to build lower body strength, stability and flexiblity. It engages the abdominals, hip flexors and leg muscles. With correct form and practice this exercise is sure to have you feeling stronger and more balanced in no time.
Join a class with ProHealth Physical Therapy and Pilates. Here you can learn from certified Pilates instructors who can show proper form, offer advice tailored to your individual needs and help you rock this unique Pilates move!