Leg Circles on the Ladder Barrel can be done big and they can be done small. Either way, they require more strength than you would think! After learning the big Back Stretch on the Ladder Barrel, you may want to add in either or both of these circle variations. Both are amazing. A key for making either of these leg circles work is for you to find a reach through your arms, connect to your back and remain connected to your front! It's tempting to bend over the barrel and want to let it all hang out. Keep it together.
Reach into the rungs to feel the connection of your back and your arms.
Standing in front of the barrel with your back towards the barrel, place your sacrum on the barrel and stand in both of your feet. Begin to round backward over the barrel and reach your arms for the rungs. Ideally, the circles come after you have done the Back Stretch on the Barrel a few times already. Then as you're warmed up and ready you continue to walk your hands down the rungs until you get to the third or fourth rung depending on your height. Reaching into the rung feel the connection of your back into your arms. Your legs reaching so far away they just lift up.
To begin with, Small Circles maintain the legs hugging together. Reach them long and draw small circles in one direction and then reverse direction. Repeat 2-3 times in both directions. You are emphasizing and working the "down" of the small circles. For the Big Circles, I used to start at the top. Eventually, you should be able to begin from the bottom. Open your legs, circle them up, around, together and repeat 3x before reversing direction. Then reach your legs for the floor. Stand in your feet firmly, walk your hands up the rungs, do a "Roll Up" off the barrel and round forward. You can swing through your feet or reach for the bottom of the barrel to do a counter stretch.
Be sure to check out more of my Pilates Ladder Barrel exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Ladder Barrel training!