The Pilates magic circle is a circular resistance prop which is widespread in both mat and reformer classes. You could have come across one of these pieces of equipment if you’re a regular Pilates class participant. You may not know this piece of equipment by its official Pilates name the “magic circle”, however, as it is also called a fitness circle, exercise ring, and a Pilates ring.
As with the rest of the Pilates equipment, this piece of equipment was designed by the inventor of Pilates, Joseph Pilates. Rumour has it on good authority that – like the Pilates barrel – the magic circle was created out of an old beer keg.
Rather than an old beer keg, these days the Pilates magic circle is made up of rubber with small pads on either side in order to cushion hands or ankles as they push against it. Most Pilates magic circles are also padded in a way which support hands or feet when they are inside the ring pressing outwards. The Pilates magic circle is made from (relatively) flexible material and is designed in order to deliver a variable amount of resistance depending on how hard you are squeezing it.
Why Use The Pilates Magic Circle?
The Pilates magic circle is a great piece of equipment to add to your routine. This is because it provides a simple way of adding resistance into your workout to increase your muscle strength. Furthermore, the Pilates magic circle can also be used to aid joint mobility as well as increase flexibility
Also, the magic circle is an incredibly adaptable piece of equipment. This means that you’re able to add the Pilates magic circle variation into the vast majority of classic Pilates exercises which increases our bodies strength, movement control and stability!
What Are The Benefits Of The Pilates Magic Circle?
The Pilates magic circle gives gentle to mild resistance in an exercise – it’s not intended to be squeezed to death. Rather, this prop is meant to be mindfully integrated into the body to support or challenge you during the process of exercising. This means the Pilates magic circle is usually used under gentle tension in order to active muscles. Having said that, it can be squeezed harder to increase the resistance (and thus the challenge) during certain exercises in order to build strength.
What To Look Out For When Buying A Pilates Magic Ring
There are so many factors that you need consider when purchasing a Pilates magic ring.
- Plastic or steel?
- What size is best for the mainstream in a group class?
- Are pads required for the inside as well as the outside?
Pads on the inside of the Pilates magic ring are not required but open up a broadrange of exercises where your arms or legs are put on the inside of the ring and are pressing outward. If you’re the creative type, opt for inside pads. If you’re more of the traditional stick to what you know as well as what works type, go for only outside handles. They will be lighter which is certainly better.
The weight of the Pilates magic ring is a very important consideration. Heavy circles, such as 3-ring steel circles, may get really heavy quickly and also trigger unwanted compensatory patterns. However, if you have a really strong and advanced client or athlete, the lighter resistance won’t cut it.
14-inch Pilates magic ring are the most common size and work for most people. Smaller 12-inch Pilates magic rings are better, especially for lower body work, for short or small students, but may be too small for the general population.