Pilates Ring Exercise Instructions

Class stretching legs and hands in row at yoga class
Pilates Ring (Image: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images)

The Pilates ring, sometimes called a Magic Circle or Power Ring, is a piece of exercise equipment that is about the size of a large steering wheel. A ring provides resistance that helps to tone muscles in a simple, balanced and efficient workout. Use the ring to work arms and upper body, compressing it between both hands, and strengthen leg muscles by compressing the ring between ankles or thighs. The ring is easy to pack and may be used with a DVD workout program, for a quick break at the office, or as part of regular Pilates mat workouts

Inner Thigh Pulse Exercise

Step 1

Lie on your back and bend your knees. Put your feet flat on the floor and point them straight forward.

Step 2

Place the Pilates ring between your legs, about an inch above your knees. Put the black padded handles on the sides of the ring against your thighs.

Step 3

Relax your neck and shoulders. Tighten your abs and press your lower back into the floor.

Step 4

Press your legs together evenly against the resistance of the ring. Relax again almost immediately.

Step 5

Continue squeezing at a quick pace, keeping your abs tight and your upper body relaxed, until your inner thighs, or adductor muscles, are fatigued. Work up to 150 pulses.

Chest Press Ring Exercise

Step 1

Lie face up on the floor and either bend your knees with your feet on the floor or straighten your legs and relax them on the ground.

Step 2

Hold the ring in your hands by the handles in front of your chest like a steering wheel. Place your palms against the outside of the handles with your fingers pointing toward the ceiling. Elbows are bent and out to the sides.

Step 3

Pulse the ring with your arms by pressing your palms toward each other. Keep your back flat on the floor and your hands open without gripping the handles at any time throughout the presses.

Step 4

Work up to between 100 and 150 presses with good form. Do not allow your back to arch or your neck or shoulders to come off the floor. Any of these compensations might allow you to do a few more reps, but at the cost of using additional muscles to assist the arm and chest muscles you are targeting.

Tip

The Pilates ring comes in different resistance levels. Once you can do 150 reps of an exercise easily, consider using a higher-resistance ring. Start with as many reps as you can do with the harder ring using good exercise form and then work up to 150.

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