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What is a Pilates Ring?

Micki Elizabeth
Micki Elizabeth

A Pilates ring, also referred to as a fitness circle or a magic circle, is a round, lightweight piece of exercise equipment created by Joseph Pilates. It is typically made of a pliable plastic or metal covered with a cushioned material for comfort, and it has two padded, curved handles opposite one another. The product, available in different sizes and levels of resistance, is generally used while performing Pilates. The Pilates ring, when used properly, may help to isolate muscles and increase the results of this toning exercise routine. There are a variety of ways to employ the ring in one’s workout.

Pilates is a method of strength training that does not require any equipment. With no bulky weights to use and an emphasis on lengthening and pulling the stomach in while exercising, Pilates is said to give one a lean, toned look. The Pilates ring adds very little weight to one’s routine, though it can make each move slightly more challenging. Many Pilates devotees like the ring because it adds some variety to their normal practice.

To use a magic circle, one can grip both handles in a number of ways. To work the arms, an individual may simply hold the padded side with the hands. Typically, the ring should then be held straight out in front of the individual.

Woman exercising
Woman exercising

The ring can also be used to target the leg muscles by placing it above the ankles or knees. A magic circle can actually be placed anywhere between the legs, with the curved pads against the body. One should take care, however, not to hold the ring at the joints. Doing so may place too much pressure directly on the ankles or knees, which could cause pain or injury.

Nearly all of the Pilates exercises can incorporate a Pilates ring into the movements. One basic move is the sit up or roll up, during which one starts by lying flat on the ground, face up. The hands begin over the head and slowly arch forward toward the feet as the spine is lifted vertebrae by vertebrae off the ground. Holding the Pilates ring and placing constant pressure on the upper arms could help to target the core muscles during the sit up, rather than relying on momentum from the arms.

The hundred is another common exercise in which one can employ a Pilates ring. In this move, the legs are lifted and kept stationary while the arms pump at the sides. Placing a ring between the legs could help to keep the legs from moving, isolating the core muscles. Furthermore, the constant pressure required to keep the ring in place will target the inner thighs.

The Pilates ring is quite versatile in the number of exercises in which it can be used. It is recommended that one start with a low-resistance ring. When practice with the ring becomes easy, one may then wish to move to the next level of resistance. The rings are typically inexpensive and easy to store, and often come with an instructional video or booklet to ensure one uses the product in the most beneficial way.

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