Toning the Inner & Outer Thighs with the Magic Circle


In a previous article we discussed inner and outer thigh toning with the Magic Circle in side lying. In this installment, we are examining inner and outer thigh strengthening using the Magic Circle while standing. The standing posture adds a balance challenge and helps us build bone density while we tone the inner and outer thighs.

During these very challenging exercises, always put alignment as the most important element. Try to have the sternum lined up over the pubic bone, the eyes to the horizon, and the crown of the head lengthening to the ceiling. Also make sure the knee stays aligned with the second toe. Don’t allow the knee to buckle in or out.


• Bring the legs into a wide plié position while the torso stays upright.
• Make sure the center of the knee is lined up with the second toe.
• As you bend, the knee should not jut past the toes.
• You should feel anchored into all 4 points on the feet (the 1st and 5th metatarsal at the front of the foot and the two sides of the heel at the back of the foot) throughout the exercise.
• The belly should be pulling in and up, and the tailbone should draw to the floor.
• Be sure not to grip in the behind.
• Hold the Magic Circle in front of the chest with the elbows pointing to each side of the room.
• The shoulders should draw away from the ears and the collarbone should remain wide.
• Begin with straight legs.
• Start with a little squeeze in on the Circle and hold this tension throughout the exercise. This should create a mild sense of work in the muscles of the arms and a strong connection with the mid back.
• Inhale and bend the knees. Make sure the behind doesn’t poke out behind you.
• Exhale and slowly return to the starting point.
• You can hold at the bottom for 5 to 10 seconds holding perfect alignment or move at a faster pace holding perfect alignment.
• You can do 10 to 15 reps.


• The safest way to do this exercise is to be facing a wall that is arms’ length away.
• You can place the fingertips lightly on the wall to help with balance or have the hands at the waist for a greater balance challenge.
• Step inside the Circle and place the inside pads on the outside ankles to work the outer leg.
• Slightly bend the right knee and hover the left foot above the floor.
• Inhale and press out on the Circle.
• Exhale and release back to the starting position.
• You can do this slowly, holding the press out for 3 to 4 seconds or you can go at a faster pace.
• You can do 10 to 15 reps and then switch sides.
• Remember to try and stay as upright as possible, stay anchored into all 4 points of your standing foot, and keep the movement small.

To reverse this exercise and work the inner thighs more, place the Circle between the legs at the ankles.

• Slightly bend the right knee and hover the left foot off the floor.
• Inhale and squeeze in on the Circle.
• Exhale and return to the starting position.
• Remember all the same points as the previous exercise.
• You can do 10 to 15 reps and then switch sides.


• Stand facing the wall, arms’ length away.
• For more balance control, place the fingertips lightly on the wall.
• For more of a balance challenge, put the hands on the hips.
• Start by placing the Magic Circle to the outside of the legs with the outside ankles pressing into the inside pads of the Circle.
• Keeping the Circle in place, inhale and rise to the balls of the feet. Be sure to equally press into all balls of the feet.
• Exhale and slowly lower the heels down to the floor.
• Inhale and bend the knees, tracking the kneecap toward the wall and keeping the heels down to stretch the Achilles tendon.
• Exhale and slowly straighten the legs.
• After doing 5 to 8 reps, bring the Circle to the inside of the legs to work the inner thighs.
• Do the same relevé/plié sequence with the inner thigh activation.

Thanks – let me know what you think!


~by Jennifer Gianni

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