Manufactured out of sprung steel, the Pilates Ring (aka Magic Circles) is a common feature of Pilates studios. Designed to help you increase the intensity of your floor exercises, this Pilates Ring is 14" or 36cm in diameter. The sprung steel circle creates resistance which in turn means targeted muscles have to work harder. Perfect for targeting muscles like your inner and outer thighs, your upper arms and your chest and pelvic areas, it's simplicity makes it such a popular Pilates accessory.
You will also see these referred to as a Fitness Circle, Exercise Ring and even a Magic Circle. But what are they and how will they help you in your Pilates regime?
The Pilates ring is usually made from flexible metal or rubber and is 13 inches in diameter. It has small pads either side. It does provide some resistance but this is not really the point of the ring. It’s really a tool to help you find your centre and understand which muscles are being used. They are also very lightweight and easy to take with you if you are travelling and want to keep up with some Pilates exercises.
Pilates Rings are cost effective and easy to store, so you will find in almost all studios and even in most homes that have Pilates equipment.
It can be used in a variety of exercises like the standing leg press and the arms back. The use of the ring will just add another dimension into your Pilates moves. For example the roll up with the ring adds in extra work for the arms and the abs and your back will have to work that little bit harder.
But one of the greatest benefits of this accessory is that it will stop you getting bored. You can use it in your usual Pilates moves to add in variety. The key element is that the ring does not work with isolated muscles.
To use it properly you will need to engage the whole body and really ensure that your posture is in the right position.
In terms of composition a Pilates ring can either come as a flexible metal or some are all rubber. This does depend on personal preference. If you want mild resistance then the rubber version could be right for you but some people find them too soft.
Try to source a ring that has pads on both the inside and the outside of the ring as that will make it more versatile. Some rings juts have pads on the outside.