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Benefits of Pilates & Balance and Flexibility & Pilates & Pilates rings & pilates equipment

The Pilates Ring: An In depth Look At The Benefits of Pilates Rings


 
 

How the right attire can supercharge your reformer Pilates experience

 

In the search for exercises that are as enjoyable as they are beneficial, you may have come across Pilates. This holistic approach to fitness has quickly gained widespread popularity for its ability to improve your strength, flexibility, and posture while also promoting mindfulness and body awareness.

While it is a routine that can easily be done without any equipment, there are so many props and equipment that can take your workout to the next level. That’s where the Pilates Ring comes in - a versatile and effective tool that is a great addition to any at-home or in-studio Pilates Session. But what exactly is a Pilates Ring, and why is it so popular?

In this post, we discuss everything you need to know about this simple reinforced ring and how it can make all the difference in your routine.

 

man using a Pilates ring during a session

What Is A Pilates Ring?

Also known as the magic circle, fitness circle, exercise ring, or simply fitness ring, the Pilates ring is a small, lightweight piece of equipment crafted from reinforced steel or durable plastic. Its interior is padded with soft foam, ensuring both comfort and support during workouts.

The primary purpose of the Pilates Ring is to add resistance to your traditional Pilates exercises, maximising their effectiveness and intensifying your workout. Its size and portability allows it to be seamlessly incorporated into a number of exercises to target various muscle groups, including thighs, calves, ankles, torso, palms, and arms.

How Is A Pilates Ring Used?

  • Tension: By compressing the ring, you create resistance that challenges your muscles to work harder. This added tension is particularly beneficial for sculpting muscle and enhancing strength.
  • Support: The Pilates Ring serves as a stable platform that can provide support during a variety of movements. For example, placing the ring under your chest while performing a push-up helps to maintain proper form and alignment, reducing strain on the wrists and shoulders.
  • Stretching: Its unique design allows for controlled and targeted stretching, enabling you to deepen your stretches and improve flexibility.
  • Breathwork: Using the Pilates Ring, you can engage in breath-focused exercises by pressing the pads in toward each other on an exhale, mimicking the contraction of your ribs. Then, release the tension on an inhale to mimic the expansion of your ribs.

Read More: Pilates Equipment for Strength and Stamina

closeup of a Pilates class using a ring

The Benefits Of A Pilates Ring During A Class

When it comes to enhancing your Pilates routine, the Pilates Ring is a game-changer, offering a multitude of benefits that extend beyond traditional exercise routines. Here's why you should add a Pilates Ring to your workout:

  • Stronger Muscles: By targeting specific muscle groups and providing resistance throughout each movement, the Pilates Ring helps to strengthen muscles throughout the body. From your arms and legs to your core and back, regular use of the Pilates Ring can lead to noticeable improvements in muscle tone and definition.
  • Core Activation: One of the key benefits of the Pilates Ring is its ability to activate and strengthen the core muscles. As you perform exercises with the ring, you'll engage your abdominal muscles, obliques, and lower back, leading to a stronger, more stable core.
  • Better Heart Health: Engaging in workouts with the Pilates Ring can also contribute to better heart health. Many Pilates exercises are designed to elevate your heart rate and improve cardiovascular endurance, making it an effective addition to your overall fitness routine.
  • Versatile and Fresh Workouts: The Pilates Ring adds a new element to your workouts, allowing for endless variations of traditional Pilates exercises. Whether you're performing Pilates-inspired moves or incorporating the ring into your cardio routine, its versatility keeps your workouts exciting and engaging, which only motivates you to do more!
  • Lightweight and Compact: Unlike bulky exercise equipment, the Pilates Ring is lightweight and compact, making it easy to incorporate into your home workouts or take with you on the go.

Read More: Pilates Exercises for Balance and Flexibility

Tips To Finding The Right Pilates Ring

At Club Pilates, we have a range of equipment that we incorporate into our Pilates classes, but if you’re looking to take your routine home, here are some valuable tips to help you find the perfect fit:

  • Consider Handles: When selecting a Pilates ring, take note of whether it has handles on each side. While handles can be beneficial for certain exercises, and they may interfere with others. Prioritise what types of movements you want to focus on before deciding whether handles are necessary for your ring.
  • Evaluate Size: Pilates rings come in various sizes, so it's essential to choose one that suits your body type and fitness goals. Ideally, you'll want a ring that you can comfortably use with different body parts, such as between your legs or in your hands. Also, it is important to ensure that the size of the ring allows for versatility in your workouts.
  • Consider Weight: Pay attention to the weight of the Pilates ring. In general, a lightweight ring is preferable to a heavy one, as it allows for easier handling during different exercises.
  • What about Resistance? The level of resistance of the Pilates ring is crucial for the effectiveness of your workouts. Your ring should offer adequate resistance to challenge your muscles and promote strength gains. However, be mindful not to select a ring with excessive resistance, as it may make exercises too difficult to perform. As you get stronger, you will notice that your ring gets easier to compress, and you may benefit from a higher resistance!
  • Remember Overall Quality: While your budget is always a consideration, don’t forget to consider the quality of your ring. While some rings may be cheaper, investing in a high-quality ring ensures durability and longevity.

woman at Pilates demonstrating an exercise with the magic ring

Simple Pilates Ring Exercises

As we’ve mentioned, adding a Pilates ring adds an extra layer of resistance and intensity into your workout. Remember! Maintain slow and even breathing throughout each exercise. Additionally, these Pilates Ring exercises can be adapted to suit your fitness level and goals.

Here are some simple exercises you can incorporate into your daily routine:

Exercise 1

  1. Lie on your back on a mat with the Pilates ring between your ankles.
  2. Lift your head and neck off the mat, extending your legs at a 45-degree angle.
  3. Gently squeeze the ring as you pump your arms up and down next to your body.
  4. Inhale for a count of five and exhale for a count of five.
  5. For a modification, bend your knees to a 90-degree angle in the tabletop position and squeeze the ring between your inner thighs.

Exercise 2

  1. Lie on your back on a mat with the Pilates ring between your hands, arms extended over your head.
  2. Lift your arms until your wrists are in line with your shoulders.
  3. Slowly curl your upper body up, tucking your chin to your chest and into your legs.
  4. Roll back, pressing into the ring as you lower back down to the mat.

Exercise 3

  1. Lie on your side with the Pilates ring between your thighs, hips stacked.
  2. Press your thighs together to squeeze the ring, engaging your inner thighs.
  3. Repeat for your desired number of reps, then switch sides.
  4. Alternatively, repeat the movement with your legs through the centre of the ring, pressing your thighs away from each other to work your outer thighs.

Exercise 4

  1. Lie on your back with knees bent, feet planted, and the Pilates ring between your inner thighs.
  2. Squeeze the ring as you lift your hips up, forming a diagonal line from knees to shoulders.
  3. Hold for one breath cycle, ensuring not arch your lower back.
  4. Slowly lower your hips to the floor, maintaining tension on the ring throughout.

Read More: Breathing in Pilates: Why It’s Important

view of a club pilates studio

Choose Club Pilates For Your Pilates Classes

From improving muscle strength to enhancing flexibility and balance, the Pilates Ring offers a comprehensive approach to fitness that targets every aspect of your physical well-being. With its versatility and adaptability, incorporating Pilates Ring exercises into your workouts can lead to transformative results.

So why wait? Join us at Club Pilates, where we offer a range of classes and programs designed to help you reach your fitness goals. With locations across Australia, our experienced instructors are committed to guiding you on your path to wellness, providing personalised attention and support every step of the way.

 

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