While most of us know Pilates as the exercise routine that uses the large and intimidating reformers machines, one of the great benefits of this type of routine is that you do not need any of that equipment and you can easily work up a sweat in the comfort of your own home. While beginners might start off using just body weight exercises and a yoga mat, adding in some small pieces of equipment is an easy way to increase difficultly as time goes on. As for what equipment to buy, the Pilates Magic Ring (also known as a fitness circle, exercise ring, or Pilates ring) seems to be an obvious choice.
What is the Pilates Magic Ring?
While the name might seem rather whimsical, this piece of equipment was actually introduced by the creator of Pilates himself, Joseph Pilates, to provide a way of increasing resistance during routines in this exercise format. The Magic Ring is a padded circle usually made from rubber that has two small pads that serve to cushion your hands or feet and give them a better grip on the ring. It is relatively flexible but still firm in order to provide you with resistance when squeezing it during a workout.
Why Use the Pilates Magic Ring?
- The Pilates Magic Ring acts as resistance for your muscles. Adding this into your Pilates routines will allow you to have a much more intensive workout.
- One of the chief benefits is that it can assist with improving body alignment, as when using the ring you must apply pressure equally on both sides. By using this ring on a regular basis you will improve your balance, posture, and stability.
How to Use the Magic Ring
The Pilates Magic Ring is a great piece of equipment to gradually include in your routines. It does not need to be used in an aggressive way, even mindful and gentle squeezing will greatly improve your strength and the quality of your workout. You only need to perform small movements with the inclusion of the ring but it will help you to activate new muscles. Here is just one easy way to include it into your routine:
Hundreds with the Magic Ring
If you have experimented with Pilates before, you are probably familiar with the ‘hundreds’, as it is a staple of any routine. It is a great move for engaging the core! You can add in the Magic Ring in order to increase resistance and add some burn to your legs during this move:
- Sit down on your mat. Make sure that your legs are outstretched (with the Magic Ring placed between your ankles).
- Raise your legs up a few inches off the ground and lean your body backwards slightly until you feel your core engage.
- Hold yourself in this position (being careful to use your core to hold yourself up and not straining your back) and stretch your arms out at your sides towards your feet.
- Keeping control of your body, and in time with your breath, slowly pump your arm up and down for one hundred counts.
There are so many ways to include the Magic Ring into your Pilates routine so if you are searching for a way to improve your workouts make sure to give this simple piece of equipment a try.
Want to become a Pilates instructor? If you do, then follow this link.