One of the essential Pilates exercises for beginners is the One Leg Circle. This basic Pilates exercise can be performed at home, with nothing more than an exercise mat, making it great for beginners. Keeping your back stable and in a neutral-spine position is part of the challenge of this exercise, which works the leg muscles. To get started, follow the instructions below and watch the accompanying video for a visual demonstration.
To prep for the One Leg Circle, lie back on an exercise mat, with your arms at your sides, palms pressed into the mat and legs extended out long.
- To start, draw your leg up toward the ceiling, bending the knee in to stretch and then extending it fully, so your leg is pointing straight up and stretched long with your toes pointed. From here, you want to be in a neutral-spine position, which means there should be a little space between your lower back and the mat.
- Start circling your raised leg across the body, around, and up. Breathe naturally, inhaling through your nose and out through your mouth, keeping your abdominals pulled in, hips as stable as you can, and shoulders anchored to the mat.
- After several moments, reverse the circle, continuing to breathe naturally and draw your abdominals in.
When you're done with the One Leg Circle, hold for a moment and then draw your right knee in and extend your leg back down to the floor to release the position. Repeat the One Leg Circle with your other leg. When performed regularly, this essential Pilates exercise for beginners works your legs and creates long, lean Pilates muscles.