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Lower body moves: side lying circles

This Pilates move helps tone the lower body. Here's how to do it, progressions and why it works.

side lying leg circles

Side Lying Leg Circles

How to do it:

This beginner move starts on your side on the floor with elbow under shoulder and legs stacked on each other. Keep your rib cage lifted to target the core stability and raise the top leg a few inches as you circle foot. Think small focused circles for 2o repetitions clock-wise and then counter-clockwise. Perform on both sides of the body. Remember to control conscious breathing throughout the movement.

(No equipment needed)

What it works:

This small circles target the inner thighs, outer thighs and butt. As you lift the leg, the glutes and tensor fascia late are engaged. The small circles target the inner and out thighs.


As you get stronger with your core stabilizers, lift the hips into a side elbow plank and perform the leg circles or add a light weight to the ankle.

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