One-Leg Circle with the Mini Stability Ball  

At first glance, One-Leg Circle seems deceptively easy to perform, but it is actually one of the most difficult Pilates mat exercises to execute well.  It is a perfect example of the importance of stabilizing muscles versus mobilizing muscles.  To perform this exercise correctly, you must learn to stabilize the pelvis and spine while mobilizing the leg in the hip socket.

Start Position. Lie on your back with pelvis and spine in neutral. Extend one leg, with ankle resting on top of the mini stability ball. Extend the other leg, or bend it in tabletop position. Rest arms by sides of body. 

Inhale             Cross the mid-line of body with leg that is not resting on ball.

Exhale            Circle leg all the way around, simultaneously pressing ankle of other leg gently down into the mini stability ball.

Repeat 5 times in each direction, and then switch legs.

 Fine Tuning:

  • Do NOT get distracted by the movement of the leg.  The essence of this exercise is maintaining pelvic stability.  There should be NO MOVEMENT OF THE TRUNK as the leg circles.  The goal isn’t to have the largest circle.
  • Visualize lengthening the leg away from the body to create space in the hip joint.
  • Maintain a neutral pelvis and spine.
  • You can increase the difficulty of this exercise by taking the arms off the mat.
  • Another option for increasing the challenge is by lifting the pelvis off the mat.  It is still important to maintain neutral pelvis and spine.  See a YouTube video of this exercise by Pilates on Fifth.
Pilates CornerMay2015Pilates CornerMay2015
Start positionIncreasing the challenge: lifting pelvis


May is Pilates Month at the McConnell Heart Health Center. 

 Take your practice to a new level with these mind-body workshops. 

 Pilates on the Green

Friday, May 8, 2015
4 to 6 p.m.
Classroom A 

 The Secret to a Strong Back

Saturday, May 9, 2015 
10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 
Classroom A  

Happy Feet: Pilates for Feet

Saturday, May 23, 2015 
9 to 11 a.m. 
Classroom A  

Learn more about these workshops on the McConnell Events page.