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!