Pilates Ring Exercises
(Aka: Magic Circle, Fitness ring etc etc)
The magic circle adds light resistance to Pilates exercises therefore enhancing the intensity of the exercises. I love using the circle to work the inner thighs but it can also be used to work the butt, outer thighs chest abdominals etc.
Before we start the routine, a few pointers to remember:
1. All the work in Pilates comes from your Powerhouse, which is the band of muscle that wraps around your torso and includes your glutes, inner and outer thighs.
2. It is important to BREATHE, never hold your breath. Inhale through your nose; think about expanding your back onto the mat. While exhaling through your mouth draw your ribs together and draw navel to spine.
3. Never place the circle directly on a joint:
(a) When the Circle is used between your legs, place the circle above your ankle bone.
(b) When working with the circle between your thighs, place the circle just above your knees.
(c) When holding the circle in your hands place the circle on the heel of your hands and keep your fingers long and relaxed.
4. When performing the exercises, make sure you engage from your powerhouse and glutes and not your knees.
The Roll Up
Lie on your back, holding the ring with the heel of your hands, stretch your arms over head; make sure your ribs are closed. Raise your arms to the ceiling and bring your chin to your chest. Inhale, scooping your abs, and roll up. Exhale as you reach forward, keeping the C-curve in your spine.
Inhale, keeping the abdominal scoop, exhale and slowly lower to the mat as your stretch your arms overhead.
Bring your chin to your chest and draw your nose towards your belly button. Scoop your abs and lift your feet off the mat and balance here for a breath. Keeping your gaze in towards your belly button.
Inhale and roll back. Exhale and come forward to balance.
* Do not roll on to your neck.
Hold the ring with the heel of your hands and extend both arms forward.
Inhale and draw your right knee into your chest and extend your left leg forward.
Exhale and change legs.
* Use your powerhouse to change legs.
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