The Pilates Ring/Magic Circle
The Pilates Ring or Magic Circle is yet another one of Joe’s inventions that has withstood the test of time as a useful tool for adding extra strength and stability challenges to a basic mat class. It is especially useful for creating dynamic relationships to the body’s midline.
By placing the ring between the hands or by placing the ring between or around the legs, a connection is created between the limbs and the trunk. This activation stimulates the body from the end of the limbs to the deepest layers of the core, including the pelvic floor.
Benefits to using the Pilates Ring are:
Isometric toning- placing the ring between or around the legs or between the torso and the arms helps to tone the adductors, abductors, latissimus dorsi, pectoralis major and other muscles in the chest and lower body.
Abdominal challenge- The ring adds a level of difficulty when placed between or around the legs for abdominal exercises such as the Hundred or the Teaser.
Pelvic floor toning- along with strengthening the inner thighs, the ring will automatically help strengthen the pelvic floor when it is used between the legs.
Variety and fun- The ring is such a great tool for so many things in a mat class that it adds fun, excitement and creative new moves for instructors and students at every level.
Ring Placement- It is important to place the ring in the correct area on the body and to place it symmetrically on both sides to provide balanced resistance.
Squeeze the ring smoothly- For best results, squeeze and release the ring smoothly.
Adductor strains, groin strains, unstable pubic bones or sacroiliac instability- Using the ring between the legs is not generally recommended for any of these issues. Be sure to consult a medical professional before beginning any new exercise program.
Knee injuries- For some people with knee injuries, using the ring between the legs can be uncomfortable.
Skin sensitivity- Some students, especially older clients are sensitive to the pressure on their skin. You can try padding the skin or not using the ring if it is too uncomfortable.
Keep the ring under control- The ring can roll or spring away for you or your students to keep good control of it at all times.
Recommended Pilates Ring- Balanced Body Ultra-Fit Circle and the new Ultra-Fit Mini because it provides medium resistance, is light weight and the handles are designed to be used for both the inside and the outside.