We all know how much we love the magic ring! Here are a couple of pointers to get the most out of the ring for your next workout! Thanks Pilates Style Magazine for the pointers! PILATES STYLE - LIVE LIFE TO THE CORE December 11, 2012 Ring of Fire: Feel the Burn with the Magic Circle! Web Editor by Kristen Matthews
Every time I tell my clients we’re going to use the Magic Circle, more often than not the response I get is “there is no magic in the circle,” and we all laugh. They view it more as a necessary evil, knowing it produces results. So when I was trying to think of a name for a Pilates Magic Circle workshop, Ring of Fire seemed apropos, and because I personally love Johnny Cash, I couldn’t resist.
While the Circle, one of Joseph Pilates’ inventions, doesn’t actually offer magic, it can add variety to your workout, challenge your core, help to increase your flexibility, tone your arms, back and chest, and sculpt your butt and legs. The best part is you can buy one at any sporting goods store. If you wanted, you could probably bring it with you on vacation and not skip a beat with your Pilates workouts!
I personally love the Circle as I truly feel it helps to target hard-to-reach areas. When I want an intense workout but don’t have a full hour to spare, I’ll grab the prop and choose exercises I feel are the most effective for the whole body. I always add in a stretch that I find extremely helpful for tightness in the legs and hips. So grab your Circle and be prepared to feel the burn with this workout, centered around the “ring of fire.”
1. Lie on your back, and place the Circle between your ankles. Bring your knees to tabletop
2. With your arms long by your side, lift your head and shoulders off the floor, and extend your legs to 45 degrees.
3. Start to vigorously pump your arms between your hips and knees, breathing in for 5 counts and out for 5 counts. Do 10 repetitions.
• Work the backs of your thighs toward one another.
• Lengthen your legs out of your hips as you pull your low ribs toward your spine.
• Have energy reaching out of the tips of your fingers and your toes the entire time.
1. Lie on your back, and place the Circle between the heels of your hands so that your thumb and fingers are on the same side.
2. Bring your knees into your chest, lift your head and shoulders off the floor, and hover the Circle over your shins.
3. Inhale to stretch your arms back so your biceps end up next to your ears as you simultaneously extend your legs out to 45 degrees.
4. Exhale to bring your knees back into your chest and your arms toward your shins, this time threading your legs through the Circle and extending them out to 45 degrees.
5. Inhale to bend your knees again, taking your legs from between the Circle so that you can reach your arms back up by your ears and your legs back out to 45 degrees. Do 8–10 repetitions.
• Use your biceps to press the Circle and watch that you don’t lock your elbows.
• Keep your inner thighs glued together as if they are one unit.
• Work your low ribs into the mat to help prevent your upper body from falling back.