(1) Learning Pilates from other than a real live instructor is not easy,
and does carry some slight risks. You should (in addition to these notes)
attend a course of certified Pilates mat sessions.
This is the safest way to learn, and it's also a lot of fun!
(2) Please ensure that you are competent in "Pilates Contrology".
(free pdf e-book).
Setup for the One Leg Circle:
Action for the One Leg Circle:
- Zip and hollow (engage the Powerhouse).
- Anchor your shoulders arms & head to the mat.
Right knee to chest, and lengthen the leg long to the ceiling.
- Turn the whole leg out very slightly, and keep it soft.
Classic Pilates Cueing:
- Breathe in and cross the leg over the body to the opposite shoulder.
- Breathe out and circle the leg down and around to the start.
- Five repetitions!
- Breathe in as you (reverse direction). Leg circles down and across.
- Breathe out to circle back to the start.
- Five repetitions!
- Cross over, circle up!
- Zip and hollow! Stabilize your pelvis!
- Down cross over and up!
Classical Pilates for Beginners: The One Leg Circle
Level: Beginner, Repetitions: 6-10.
(Classical Pilates Technique: The One Leg Circle, Scroll right>>>...)
(In the Classical Pilates mat sequence, the Rollup preceeds the One Leg Circle).
Roll like a ball-
Come to the sit position, place your hands by your hips and boost yourself forward.
Form a bracelet grip with one hand around the other
wrist, and hug your lower shins to your body.
- To keep the pelvis motionless in face of a moving leg challenge (requires a strong "powerhouse").
- Works the hip flexors and quads in opposition to the hamstrings.
Don't let an injury or weakness stop you!
There is always a modification. Take your time and find the right one for you.
If in doubt, seek advice!
- Scoop your abdomen deep and "glue" your shoulders and arms to the mat.
- Concentrate on a stable pelvis.
- Finesse the circle: Relax the butt muscles & do not lock the knee.
- Pain in the groin/anterior thigh; hip arthritis -bend the knee 90-100 degrees and relax the leg muscles.
Keep the abs & glutes firing.
- Tight hamstrings -bend the knee 5-20 degrees.
- Popping hip - Circle the leg in a small range & turn the leg out as far as it will go.
Classical Pilates Technique: the One Leg Circle, © Bruce Thomson, EasyVigour Project