Mat Leg Circles is a very important part of the Pilates repertoire. This exercise teaches so many beautiful skills for the clients to master such as lumbo/pelvic stability as well as differentiation of movement between the leg and the pelvis. The goal of the exercise is not that you complete the circles in their prescribed number of rotations but to see how clearly your clients can perform the exercise. What this means is that it is your job to cue them into the easiest circle they can find. There is zero compensation elsewhere in the body, and the breath is the moving force, not a secondary awareness.

Hope you enjoyed this video – would love to hear your comments below!

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  1. ginger

    Love it! Question, is it OK to use the 8-10″ “squishy” ball ?

  2. JenniferGianni

    Hi Ginger,
    Thanks for writing in! This is my favorite way to teach leg circles. The Overball ( squishy ball ) does work for this but because it is bigger and more mobile it is does not give the precise feedback that the Mikasa ball gives. For some clients the Overball will be more appropriate because it is a bigger surface and gives more support. Sometimes the Mikasa can be too tough and too high for some clients that have a tender sacrum and / or tight lower back.
    Keep the questions and comments coming. We love it!

  3. Michele_655

    Thanks so much for this informative video. I love the point about not being able to see/feel if the pelvis is evenly weighted when not on a ball. However I did notice that when Jen was performing the circles, her big toe was lifting off the floor. Often I cue my clients to anchor through the first ray
    facilitate stability. Is that a helpful cue in this exercise. Thank you.

  4. JenniferGianni

    Hi Michele,

    Thanks for writing in. We are so happy you are enjoying the videos. You are right on the money that cueing clients to reach into their first ray along with the pinky toe side of the foot and the center of the heel is the golden cue. This will cue them into the “suction cup ” of their foot and engage all 3 arches of the foot.

    The first ray , however, is not at the big toe pad but it is at the ball of the foot ( the space between the first and second metatarsal head) In the video you see me extend my toes especially when the exercise is calling for more stability ( or I feel I need more stability) but I am fully anchored into my first ray. The extension of the toes is a good cue for your clients that have a hard time feeling the activation of their three arches working in a balanced way. After a bit of time, you want to challenge the client to try and keep that activation but soften the toes. That is a challenge!
    Keep the great questions coming.

  5. puja

    Looks good…
    Wil try…