Goals of the Leg Circles

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Do you think you know everything that’s going on during the Leg Circles on the Reformer? Shari Berkowitz explains how much you should be pushing into the straps when you’re frogging and circling. Do it with her and you’ll be amazed at how your hamstrings and back muscles join the party and assist your movement. Visit Shari for teacher training, workshops and lessons at The Vertical Workshop. Our thanks to Shari’s student Roccio Cárceles and The Contrology Cohort in New York City where this was filmed.

What Others Are Saying


  1. Mrs_Nes
    Mrs_Nes 2 months ago

    Great reminder of the connection of leg circles to long spine. Also, I’d love more information on your explanation of gaining more flexibility through eccentric contraction.

    • Author
      Shari Berkowitz 2 months ago

      Hello, Mrs_Nes!
      Thank you for taking time to work with this little video and think about this topic!
      So…eccentric contractions are really really interesting! At first, the body is unaccustomed to it and there are slight injuries to the muscle and tendon. However, upon low does and low force amounts repeated sessions with eccentric contractions the human body adapts and we use less energy to create more force. It’s amazing!

      Now, relative to flexibility and increased range of motion, it appears that something called sarcomerogenesis happens!
      What is that?
      Well, the “smallest” components of a muscle cell is the sarcomere (made of smaller components, of course). These are the contractile structures. With eccentric contractions, it seems that more sarcomeres are created in line with each other. Essentially making the muscle cell stronger and longer!
      Yes…and with these cells all getting longer, the flexibility increases without loss of strength and risk of injury that happens with passive/static stretching (a conversation for another time).
      Basically, you get stronger and more flexible!

      Now, I am happy to explain in even greater detail and share research papers. Let me know if you need/want.

      All the best and thank you for asking!
      – Shari

  2. Julie Winters
    Julie Winters 4 months ago

    Very helpful! Thanks!

    • Author
      Shari Berkowitz 4 months ago

      Thank you for watching, Julie! I’m so glad it was helpful!

  3. Victoria Sommer 4 months ago

    Wonderful explanation … thank you!

    • Author
      Shari Berkowitz 4 months ago

      Victoria! Thank you for checking this out!

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