Pilates – Single Leg Circles

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 27,517
    Certified Pilates instructor Dori Markakos demonstrates Single Leg Circles, a great exercise for your inner and outer thighs.

    Dori Markakos

    Dori is an experienced fitness professional whose love of fitness began in grade school with her love of dance and ballet. She’s danced classical ballet since she was 5. As her interest in fitness grew, she began experimenting with all varieties of group fitness and weight lifting. Dori went the practical route to college and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a specialization in Marketing from the University of Virginia’s School of Commerce, but not before receiving her fitness instructor certification in her spare time. After college, Dori went to work for Environmental Design & Construction, LLC (EDC) where she is presently the Controller. In this position, Dori serves as the company’s chief business officer. But, Dori’s heart is in the field of fitness. Dori maintains her certifications and puts them to work as a personal trainer, spinning and Pilates (mat and reformer) instructor. As part of her career development, Dori also received specialty training in pre and post natal fitness, with a specialization in pre/post natal Pilates. Dori currently works with clients as Pilates instructor, while keeping up with her own workouts. She’s run multiple marathons and is an accomplished triathlete having run numerous triathlons as well having completed the Ironman Triathlon. Dori resides in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Peter and daughter Mia.

    Dori Markakos: Hi! I am Dori, your personal Pilates instructor. I am showing you some of the most basic and popular Pilates exercises. Right now, I am going to show you Single Leg Circles, a great exercise for your inner and outer thighs. Let's go ahead and get started. Seat your self right in the middle of your mat, grab onto your hamstrings, take a big, deep breathe in, straighten out your spine, inhale and exhale, unroll your spine one vertebrate at a time. So, you feel nice and comfortable on the mat. You can actually have your hands resting comfortably beside you with those finger tips reaching towards your toes, or you can have your hands out in a T position, which ever feels more comfortable to you and stabilizes your upper body. I am going to keep mine by my sides.

    So, for this exercise, keep your foot flat on the floor and extend the right leg straight up, toe is pointed, leg is nice and straight, I don't want it completely locked down, but I want it bend just about one or two degrees. Take a big, deep breathe in, rotate those hips under and exhale, nice pelvic tilt right here. In Single Leg Circle, we are going to go towards our left, so we are going to cross the centre line of our body, about the size of a beach ball, and pause at the top. Cross the centre line of the body, and pause to the top, cross the centre line of the body, and pause to the top, one more, keep your spine in neutral, look straight up, pause at the top. Now, reverse it. We now go towards the right, cross the centre line to the left and pause at the top, over to the right, cross the centre line and to the top. So its a good size ball, but not too huge. So nice big circle, one more, inhale and exhale, pause at the top, good, release the right leg, the right foot comes flat on the floor, the left leg extends, toe is pointed again, finger tips are nice and released, abs are engaged, inhale and exhale. This time we are going to cross the center line of the body, first going towards the right, back to the left and pause to the top, but that motions should be nice and fluent. So you are barely pausing up at the top. Good, inhale and exhale, nice and easy, inhale and exhale, cross the centre line of the body and pause to the top. Now, reverse it without rocking those hips. Over to the left, to the right and pause, inhale and exhale, inhale and exhale, one more, inhale and exhale, last time, bring it right back to the top, realign those feet, extend the legs, shake it out, bring those legs back in, hold on to these hamstrings, unroll your self right back up. Let's go ahead and move on.