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Use the Double Leg Circles Exercise to Work Your Abs and Trim Your Thighs

double leg circles on the foam rollerIf you’re looking for ab work and trim thighs, Double leg circles are perfect for you! As you can imagine, many of the same muscles that are used in One leg circles also work in Double leg circles. This means you’ll get abdominal work when you stabilize your torso and trim inner thighs as your legs circle.

This circling motion is called circumduction, and it’s basically the technical name for drawing a circle. Because your leg moves in all directions when you draw a circle with it, circumduction is one of the best ways to trim your thigh muscles.

As with several foam roller exercises, it’s not essential that you have a foam roller. You can also practice this exercise on an Arc barrel or on a regular mat. That being said, here’s how to practice Double leg circles on the foam roller.

Double Leg Circles

  1. Begin on your back with your knees bent, heels in line with your SITs bones.
  2. Lift your hips so you can slide the roller under them. When you lower your hips, your sacrum (tailbone) should be on the roller. Place your hands on either side of the roller to help keep it stable.
  3. Use traditional Pilates breathing.
  4. Inhale in to the sides of your ribs. Exhale and tilt your pelvis slightly in to Imprint.
  5. Inhale to lift your left leg to Table top.
  6. Exhale to lift the right leg to meet the left.
  7. Inhale here and exhale as you straighten your legs toward the ceiling.
  8. From your hips, laterally rotate so that your knees turn out to the side. You can choose whether you want to point your feet or flex them. Personally, I like to keep my feet pointed throughout the exercise.
  9. As you inhale, circle your straight legs out to the side. You want your feet to go a little wider than your shoulders. Keep the circle going until your legs are on an angle and your heels connect. Make sure you have kept abdominal engagement throughout this movement and that your low back is still in a slight Imprint.
  10. Exhale to bring your straight, laterally rotated legs back to center.
  11. Complete 6-10 circles this direction.
  12. Switch directions. Make sure you do the same number of repetitions each way.

Finding a Foam Roller

If you want to order a foam roller, I recommend the OPTP brand foam roller. Their foam rollers are firm and don’t dent or bend easily. It’s crucial for your foam roller to be firm and stay the same shape throughout its use.

Foam rollers are a great tool to elevate your Pilates mat work, but they’re also wonderful self-massage tools. Here’s a link to some foam roller stretches.

Double Leg Circles Video

Here is a video for visual learners.

What’s your favorite way to work your abs and legs at the same time? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Sarah Stockett

Hi! I'm Sarah, and I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. When I'm not working with clients, I'm researching the best ways to get rid of pain. Do you want to learn how to practice yoga and Pilates safely in your own home? Or, do you want to know all my tips and tricks for pain relief? Join my mailing list and receive free goodies to help you.

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