Get started with your free eBook.

Discover the top 14 things you’re doing that are damaging your bones.

Weekend Challenge: Single Leg Circle

weekend-challenge

Today’s Weekend Challenge is really exciting because it does more than just strengthen your core muscles necessary for good balance and posture.

The Single Leg Circle will also give you a more youthful and fit look because it helps remove those unsightly “love handles” that tend to grow over the winter. And as the weather starts to warm up in the Northern Hemisphere, this exercise will get you toned and ready for bathing suit season.

Why: You’ll notice I talk a lot about core muscles, and for a good reason. Located in your pelvis, torso, and abdomen, your core muscles keep your pelvis and spine aligned and stable. Even though they are located in the central areas of your body, they influence upper back and limb movement.

In fact…

Your Core Muscles Are Involved In Nearly Every Movement Your Body Makes

Strong, supple core muscles allow you to move with grace and poise, and they promote good balance and posture. Balance is key in avoiding falls resulting in fracture, while proper posture helps you avoid Dowager’s Hump, the rounded, hunched upper back often associated with osteoporosis and aging.

In addition, working your core keeps your spine aligned, which decreases back pain and allows your bones to get the most benefit from weight-bearing exercise.

Working Your Core Tones Your Waistline

With swimsuit season approaching, I’m sure you want to look and feel your best before heading out to the pool or beach. Toned core muscles improve your stability, slim your waistline and flatten your tummy. Single Leg Circles also firm up your legs.

How: Grab an exercise mat or blanket to get started.

Let’s begin with your right leg:

  1. Lie on your back on the mat. Lay your arms palm-down by your sides.
  2. Bend your left knee and keep your foot flat on the ground.
  3. Anchor your pelvis by pulling your lower abdominals in, and anchor your shoulders. Your hips and shoulders should not “rock” or move from this position.
  4. Raise your right leg toward the ceiling as far as you can – try to get your leg perpendicular to the floor. It’s okay to bend your right knee.
  5. Move your raised right leg toward your left hip, then slowly lower it almost to the floor. (If this is too difficult, keep your foot higher off the floor.)
  6. Sweep your foot slowly to the right, bringing your foot outward and pointing your leg out to the right.
  7. Continue the circle and bring your leg up again to the starting position.
  8. Put this all together to make a smooth, controlled circle in a counterclockwise direction.
  9. Repeat 5 times.
  10. Repeat another 5 times, but this time reverse the direction and do the circles in a clockwise direction.
  11. Switch legs and repeat 5 times in one direction, 5 times in the other or as many times as you comfortably can.

Tips:

  • Do not tilt your pelvis or your shoulders – they should stay flat on the mat.
  • Go slowly.
  • If it is too difficult, make a smaller circle and work up to the full sweep described above.

If you find this too easy, you can try these more challenging variations.

Variation #1: Non-Working Leg Stays Extended

For this variation, you’ll keep the non-working leg (the one not making the circle) extended and flat on the floor. Then follow the instructions above. You’ll find this much more challenging.

Variation #2: Both Legs Up

  1. For a real challenge, raise both legs.
  2. Lie flat as described above.
  3. Keeping your feet together, raise both legs until they are perpendicular to the floor (your body will make an “L” shape).
  4. Bring your legs over to the right, down, left and up, ending with your legs back in the starting position (straight up).
  5. You can start with small circles and work up to big ones.
  6. Repeat as described for the Single Leg Circle.

Practicing the Leg Circles regularly is a great way to tone your body, strengthen your core muscles, and build your bones. I’d love to know how you’re doing with this new exercise so please leave your comment below.

Keep moving!

Print Friendly and PDF

The Top 14 Things You’re Doing That Are Damaging Your Bones... And More!

Enter your name and email below to get...

  • Stop The Bone Thieves! report
  • Email course on how to prevent and reverse bone loss
  • Free vital osteoporosis news and updates.

28 comments. Leave Yours Now →

  1. Kathy April 1, 2014, 1:30 am

    I also want to thank you for writing it out. I am not in a position to have a video set-up so that I can exercise while watching it – thus, video is waste of time.
    One other thing worth mentioning is the importance of “working with the breath” as advocated in Yoga.

  2. Joan March 31, 2014, 9:50 am

    These are all great yoga exercises which I have been doing. My question is should you do any warmup exercises before starting

  3. Mary from Toronto, ON March 31, 2014, 5:37 am

    I would like to joing the applause with my THANKS, Vivian, for all the exercises you recommend. In working so hard to improve our physical wellbeing, you are simultaneously serving the Lord our God. When you do that intentionally, you give Him great glory!

  4. Karen March 30, 2014, 6:21 pm

    Is there a way that the excerises and their instructions could be made to be printed without the email comments? I would like to have copies, so I could remember how to do them when not close to the computer.

    • Ann March 31, 2014, 10:00 am

      Just highlight what you want to print and in the print dialog box check “selection.” Or, you can highlight what you want to print, or even the whole page, then copy it to an email or word document and then eliminate what you don’t want to print.

  5. Ayesha Hansa March 30, 2014, 5:37 pm

    Dear All, about 2 months ago I complained about not receiving the Save our Bones program which was ordered at the end of October 2013. I was an extremely unhappy customer.

    Today I’d like to report that I’m extremely excited & grateful to Elizabeth for ensuring that I receive the program together with the extras like OsteoCleanse and the Densercise. Better late than never.

    NB: I live is South Africa!!

  6. Marlene Brotherhood March 30, 2014, 4:04 pm

    I can’t follow the instructions; specifically, at point 3 it says to lower your foot near to the floor…but the pictures show nothing like that. Can you clarify?

  7. Janet March 30, 2014, 2:53 pm

    Love to see your exercises but I have had both hip replacements and a neck fusion and find it difficult. I am trying to adapt safely to manage the movements. There appears to be nothing out there for people like me so I value your exercises as they are the nearest thing I can find that suit me..Even the Doctor can offer no advice and physios are not geared up to it either. As with most things everything in moderation and with caution. Please keep up the good work. Thank you

  8. elaine goodman March 30, 2014, 12:38 pm

    dear vivian , your depth and knowledge of your studies is so exciting .you have influenced me so many times in so many ways . thank you ,sincerely elaine.

  9. JoAnne Sidell March 30, 2014, 6:11 am

    Thank you for writing it out and not using a video;
    I don’t have time to watch videos
    JoAnne

    • Patricia March 30, 2014, 10:59 am

      I agree with you! I don’t like videos either!!!

  10. Mollie March 30, 2014, 6:08 am

    Will it be OK for me to do this leg circling exercise? I have bilateral total hip replacements. I never know just how far I can safely exercise. Many thanks.

  11. Charles Adamson March 30, 2014, 12:16 am

    Your diagram shows the same direction in picture 3 and 5.

  12. Anna.t March 29, 2014, 10:27 pm

    Another good suggestion! Thank you Vivienne.

  13. Christine (U.K.) March 29, 2014, 6:24 pm

    Have been looking for someone to show me these exercises for months. Thank you Vivian for being the one we can rely on to show us these exercises. :)

  14. shula March 29, 2014, 1:15 pm

    Thanks

  15. shula March 29, 2014, 1:14 pm

    Looks good, hopefully also feels good.

  16. Tasha Cunliffe March 29, 2014, 11:09 am

    PILATES in action. Pilates works!!!
    You can check out Pilates for Buff Bones for more movements to encourage bone strength!!!
    Thanks, Vivian for all your latest updates on osteoporosis.

  17. Jo Collins March 29, 2014, 11:02 am

    I have already been doing this exercise using the small circles every other day for two weeks. The off day I am always in lower back pain. I am wondering if I am doing more damage or if this is really helping me. I have scoliosis, does this play into it somehow?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA March 29, 2014, 5:11 pm

      Jo, my philosophy on exercising is always: if it hurts, stop! You might stop doing the leg circles for a few weeks and see if the lower back pain clears up. :)

  18. Ms. L. Carmel March 29, 2014, 10:59 am

    Hi! Vivian,

    Thank You Very Much For Sharing The Single Leg Circle Exercise With Us. It Looks Like It Help You In Many Ways.

    Take Care, And Stay Well.

    LOVE, LESLIE (MS. L. CARMEL)

  19. Mary Cobabe March 29, 2014, 9:17 am

    I have a Fully torn hamstring.I am 82 years young. The doctor- a specialist— that i was sent to see told me “There is nothing I can do for you. It might take 7 years for it to heal.” Now my heart Doctor said –when I told him it was hard to exercise with the pain of this hamstring– “You are just using that as an excuse,football players get treatment & go right back and play football in 2 weeks.” Well I am not a football player & this happened to me when I was sound asleep at 3:30 AM. There was a loud crack and so much pain I could not stand up.I use a walker so as not to fall. Do you think these exercises would help me or would they stretch too much. Just bending over very far causes lots of pain.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA March 29, 2014, 5:12 pm

      Mary, I am so sorry to hear about your painful muscle injury, and I wish you a speedy recovery! Since I am not a doctor, I can’t advise you as to whether or not this exercise would be beneficial or harmful to you. Perhaps you could talk to a naturally-minded doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist who can review your medical history and devise an exercise plan that works for you. :)

    • Joanna Linder March 29, 2014, 11:12 am

      I am “over the moon” that I came across this site. I am very interested in what was replied…or will be replied to Mary Cobabe as I have a similar problem, and would not want to stretch too much and do any harm. Very informative. Thanks!

  20. Eileen March 29, 2014, 6:49 am

    Thank you for this, Vivian!! My nutrition counsellor described the same exercise in the hopes that it would help my sciatica; now I have it all in writing, step-by step, and will know that I am doing it correctly. That’s just what I needed!!!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA March 29, 2014, 7:55 am

      I am so glad, Eileen! It really helps to see it written out. :) I hope you derived great benefit from this exercise!

  21. Penny Mortimer March 29, 2014, 4:46 am

    We do a similar exercise while doing Aqua aerobics, only standing on one leg , keeping back straight, bending the other leg and circulating outwards and also changing rotation. I will try your way.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA March 29, 2014, 7:57 am

      It’s good to try variations of exercises! I would like to hear how it works for you “on land,” Penny. :)

Join the Conversation. Leave a Comment.

The purpose of this comment section is to encourage you to interact with the rest of the Save Our Bones Community. Thank you so much for joining the conversation!

Get Started With Your
FREE Bone Building Kit.

Get a free copy of ‘Stop The Bone Thieves’, exclusive content that you can’t find anywhere else, plus vital osteoporosis news and updates.

Get It Free

My Cart

Edit Total:
Continue Shopping