Pilates for Dancers Best Exercise #2

I knew you couldn’t wait for the White House Pilates tip! Click on the photo below to learn the next ‘Pilates for Dancers Best Exercise #2.’

Leg Circles on the Reformer!

The very best exercise for strengthening the inner and outer thighs, increasing range of motion in the hip joints, and stabilization of the core.

Place both feet in the straps of the reformer and start small with you circles. Quality over quantity! Make sure you can stabilize your neutral spine before you make your circles bigger. Complete 10-12 circles keeping your tail bone anchored when you feet come up to the ceiling. Then reverse the direction.


  • Challenge your core work and stabilization by using the lightest resistance spring. (Peak Pilates Reformer= 1 blue spring, or on a Balanced Body Reformer= 1 yellow spring)
  • Work your inner and outer thighs and increase the stretch in your hamstrings by using a really heavy spring. (Peak Pilates= 2 yellow springs & 1 blue, Balanced Body= 1 red spring, 1 blue spring)

Leg Circles on the Mat!


  • Lie on your back on a yoga mat and pull your right leg into your chest. Leave your left leg lengthened down on the floor below you. Stretch your right leg and point your toe straight up the the ceiling. Your arms are by your side (more advanced) or out to the sides like a “T” (beginner).
  • Imagine a marble is balancing in the center of your neutral pelvis and don’t let your marble roll at all. You do this by stabilizing your torso by engaging your core.
  • Take your toe across your body and circle it down, around, and up. Exhale during the hardes part of the circle (most likely when the toe is farthest from your center.) Complete 8 circles then reverse the direction and repeat the exercise on the other leg.
  • Do NOT let your left hip move or lift off the mat at all. The point is to increase range of motion in your hips using the stabilization of the core. If your core is not stabilized you are not doing the exercise correctly and your core is not working.
  • Stabilization Tip! Imagine your foot on the floor is being pulled out away from the crown of your head. You want to feel like a rubber band being stretched from head to toe. Keep this line of energy throughout the circles and you will have a better foundation for stabilization.