Single Leg Circle with a Magic Circle on the Mat

If you feel a “click” in your hip while doing the Single Leg Circles, then using the Magic Circle to challenge and teach what muscles you should circle with.

  • Author: lesley.logan
  • September 22, 2019
Home  »  Pilates Mat Exercises | Free Tutorials   »   Single Leg Circle with a Magic Circle on the Mat
Single Leg Circle with a Magic Circle on the Mat - Online Pilates Classes
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Equipment Needed: Magic Circle, Mat (The magic circle shown in this video is the Ultra-Fit Circle and I love using the Contrology Folding Mat.)
  • Reps: 5 circles each direction
  • Warning: Listen to your body. When in doubt, leave it out.
  • Questions: Contact us here

Single Leg Circle with a Magic Circle on the Mat

Using a Magic Circle for the Single Leg Circles on the Pilates Mat is a great way to challenge this exercise in your body and connect to your seat. Many people feel a click in their hip on this exercise. But, if you learn where to do your circles from, you will find that it’s less about the muscles on the top of your hip and more about the muscles underneath. Pressing into the circle will also challenge your center and the rest of your body’s connection to the Mat. Like any Pilates exercise, this one is less about your circling leg and more about your stability.

Press into the circle from the muscles of your hamstrings and seat.

Laying on your back on the mat, place one ankle on top of a pad of the Magic Circle. Then take the other leg up to the ceiling. Your arms can be long by your sides pressing down unless you have a mat with handles and then reach up and press your hands into the handles instead. Press your ankle into the circle slightly from the muscles of your hamstrings and seat. Be careful that it is not from the back of your knee. Feel your lower ribs connect to your mat and your neck long.

Begin to circle your top leg five times across your body and then reverse directions without the Magic Circle moving. You will notice that you can only make your circles so big before the circle bounces or your hip lifts. After you have done circles in both directions, switch sides. If you notice that you have one side that is weaker or struggles more than another, be sure to repeat on that side. Then ditch the Magic Circle and try to do the Single Leg Circles without the prop. See if you can find the same strength and connections as you did with the prop.


Be sure to check out more of my Pilates Mat exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Mat training!

By lesley.logan

Lesley Logan, NCPT, is the founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com, the first free online catalogue of Pilates exercise tutorial videos, where you can also find weekly online mat classes and workshops. When not teaching from her studio in Los Angeles, Lesley can be found traveling the world leading Pilates retreats, or offering Pilates business coaching to studio owners and other instructors through her private mastermind group. Connect with Lesley on instagram @lesley.logan or through the contact page on this site.

Loving this Pilates exercise tutorial? Take weekly online Pilates mat classes with OPC Teachers
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8 comments

  1. I’ve never heard this tip before and I have clicking in my right hip on single leg stretch and circles. Mind blown! I’m buying a circle asap so I can start practicing this at home! Can’t wait for Cambodia to learn more tips & tricks! Thanks Lesley!

  2. Love this tutorial, it will definitely add value to my own practice and understanding of the leg circle movement, as well as for the students in my classes. You are incredible Lesley I admire you in so many ways, you rock. Keep going!

    1. Selena, I am so happy to hear this helped you and you’re going to share with your students! That’s so amazing! And, someday I hope to make it to Jamaica! Until then I hope you’re able to enjoy our online classes and members group. And, keep sharing what you love with those around you xx~LL

  3. This was very helpful. I always have one hip clip when doing circles and thought it was from not reaching enough since I didn’t have the problem with the leg springs. Now it makes a lot of sense to me! Thanks!

    1. Hey Sherri, yeah, the reach has to be muscular and its easy to reach from the ankle or knee. So focusing on that connection first will really free up your circles! xx~LL

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eb 3 online pilates classes

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SUCH A TEASE

ONLINE MAT & REFORMER PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

Teaser is probably one of the most photographed exercises in Pilates. Which makes people think it's a "peak pose." But, it's anything but! It's simply another layer to your Pilates practice. This week we will acknowledge how each exercise contributes to your ability to do Teaser (someday) and then how Teaser teaches you where to get curious in your practice.

On the Mat we will use light weights for one round of Teaser as they can be helpful for those still adding into their practice.
No props on the Reformer.

See you in class,

xx~LL

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights and a Mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a Reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

UP, UP, & AWAY

ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

We are all going to feel like Super Humans after this month!!

Whenever I’m in a hard exercise (for me) where I’m holding myself up with my arms and reaching my legs away I picture myself with super human strength!!! I can do ANYTHING! It makes me smile and helps me stay STRONG.

This month our exercise is Up Stretch and when you think about it - reaching your legs away and staying strong over the carriage may feel a lot like flying!

We’ll be focusing on stabilizing our strong cores while staying equally balanced in our arms and legs. We are giving you some amazing building blocks by merging strength and stretch in all directions. You are going to get a little bit of everything that you can use to connect to your Up Stretch (and even your Roll Up and Knee Stretches Off).

Chair: Please have a foam roller and a balance pad available. We are going to challenge your balance safely.

xx-LL

GATHER ROUND

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

We gather good things in circles…friends, flowers, pie! So let’s get our circles on! In this week’s Mat and Reformer classes we’ll be focusing on how the size and shape of circular work changes how we feel an exercise. We’ll even be adding some circular movements along the way! You won’t need any extra props and please, have your box for the Reformer class.

See you in class,
Tami

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, box and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

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Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

This week we will focus on all things Rowing! How do the other exercises help our rowing series and how does rowing influence the others! Finding the arm/back connection throughout the class is how we will Row Row Row Our Boat to the finish line!

Light hand weights needed for the Mat class!

See you in class,
Mindi

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light hand weights and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

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    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    The key to longevity is being able to get down to the ground and up again with as little assistance as possible. In this weeks class we are going to focus on how to stand in your feet no matter where they are in space.

    On the Mat we will have a playful ending that Joseph Pilates would do!

    The Reformer we’ll end challenging ourselves standing on our carriage. (Options to do the exercises off the Reformer too!)

    No props needed.

    See ya in class,

    xx~LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

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    Online Mat, Reformer, Cadillac & Wunda Chair Pilates Class Descriptions:

    We’re going to focus on the muscles that help us get up/down to a chair, toilet, in/out of a car, and to the ground without the use of our hands to help.

    As we age, we can lose strength, flexibility, mobility in these leg and core muscles which results in us using our arms and hands to get up and down.

    Let’s keep these bodies as young as we can by practicing getting up and down with only our legs, our center, and our strong back.

    Reformer: No props needed
    Cadillac/Tower: Reformer box
    Mat: Theraband
    Chair: No props needed

    See ya in class,

    xx-LL 💋

    HANG 10

    ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

    Grip strength as well as upper body strength plays an important role in so many different exercises throughout the mat and all apparatus. Our grip can influence the connection from our wrists - to our arms - to our back. And building strength in our chest and upper back can help us connect more to our center in every exercise.

    All month long we’ll explore the feeling, the strength, and the position of our hands and upper body to see how our exercises change with a little extra focus. We’ll also play with ways to gain more strength and awareness in our chest and upper back to create even more connections to the exercises.

    Props:
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    *A thicker pole or roll down bar size might feel nice, but no worries you’ll find your connections no matter what you have on hand!
    Mat: a pole
    Reformer: No props needed
    Cadillac: No props needed

    See ya in class,
    xx-LL 💋

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    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    Finding some love for Roll Up and Open Leg Rocker isn't easy! But, these two exercises unlock the potential for so many other exercises. And what we don't like we often need. So, let's dive into what we need to rock our Roll Ups and Open leg Rockers and see how that changes the rest of our practice in the meantime.

    Mat: Magic Circle, Pole or Theraband
    Reformer: have your shortbox pole near by

    xx~LL

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, Magic Circle, Pole or Theraband and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, short box and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.