Weight lifting and strength training are nice and effective, but not for everyone. The good news is that we don’t need expensive equipment and heavy weights to tone our bodies and build muscle. Whether it’s LISS training or partner workouts, there are countless ways to work out at home that are just as effective. Gentle and super effective at the same time – Pilates is clearly in vogue and more and more celebrities like Madonna and Cindy Crawford swear by the fitness method. Pilates is a holistic whole-body workout that ensures quick results, and the exercises are easy to do under your own roof. From stretching the back muscles to toning the glutes, the Pilates Ring is a staple for all Pilates lovers, making the workout even more challenging. Add some of the following Pilates Ring exercises to your workout routine and the results will be seen and felt in just a few months, we promise!
Pilates is often equated with yoga, but this is far from the truth. Boring, not that strenuous and only suitable for women – there is probably no other training method that is as misunderstood and underestimated as Pilates. It is a gentle yet super effective workout for the mind and body, developed in the early 1920s by German Joseph Hubert Pilates. The method is based on six principles: Control, Centering, Precision, Concentration, Breathing and Flow of Movement. Through a conscious execution of the movements, a targeted tension of the muscles and several repetitions, the entire deep musculature is trained and strengthened. So if you prefer to train at home and don’t want to spend money on expensive equipment, then the exercises with Pilates Ring will suit you perfectly!
What is a Pilates ring and how is it used?
Pilates ring, also still known as “Magic Circle”, is a comprehensive training accessory that allows you to achieve quick results. Those of you who have already trained with fitness bands will quickly realize that the ring is the same idea. This is a resistance ring with two side handles that is wonderful for a variety of exercises for the legs, abdomen and upper body. Think of the ring as a cross between a hula hoop and an exercise ball. The resistance system provides an effective full body workout. Depending on which part of your body you want to work out with it, you can either hold the Pilates ring in your hands or clamp it between your legs. The training device is clear proof that you can define and tone your body without strenuous strength training. Compared to other workout aids, the Pilates Ring is very compact, lightweight and easy to store, which makes it our perfect companion for home or even on vacation. Since the ring is made of plastic, we can’t hurt ourselves with it if we drop it or do an exercise incorrectly, for example.
Most of the exercises with Pilates ring are quite gentle in execution and do not strain the body as much as, for example, weight lifting. And the most beautiful thing? Due to the incredible number of exercise possibilities, the workout never gets boring! The only important thing is to make sure when performing them that the back always remains straight and regular breathing is maintained. The Pilates Ring is actually very easy to use, making it perfect for those just getting into the fitness world. By combining stretching, strength exercises and proper breathing, Pilates Ring exercises are a great way to achieve results quickly. Using the ring will not only train your endurance, strength and flexibility, but also improve your posture and coordination skills. Before you buy a ring, you should pay attention to the material. Pilates rings made of plastic or rubber are ideal for a gentle and light workout, while rings made of metal are more for people who need strong resistance and want a more intense workout.
The best exercises with Pilates ring to include in your workout routine
Exercises with Pilates ring are an excellent and easy way to relieve stress and tone the body at the same time, without having to leave our home for it. The workout accessory is super versatile and depending on your mood, you can use it to train your legs and butt, as well as your abdomen and upper body. To create a complete and effective workout, choose 5 to 6 of the following exercises and do three sets of each exercise with a short rest between sets. The number of repetitions depends on your fitness level and strength. To avoid possible injuries and muscle soreness, do not overdo it and train within your own limits.
- Butt bridge with Pilates ring is a wonderful exercise to strengthen your butt, abdomen and thigh muscles at the same time. Lie on an exercise mat with your legs bent and toes pointing forward. Clamp the Pilates ring between the thighs outside the knees. Inhale deeply and tense the abdomen, squeezing the ring slightly and lifting the buttocks off the floor until the body forms a straight line from the knees to the head. Hold the position briefly, exhale and lower the pelvis back down. To increase the difficulty, try performing a sit-up by lifting the head and shoulders toward the abdomen.
- Exercise for the back and front of the thighs – Lie on an exercise mat with your legs bent and hold the Pilates ring with both hands. While keeping the right leg positioned, pull the left knee toward the chest and position the ball of the foot on the inside of the ring. Exhale deeply and extend the leg, then inhale again and bend the leg. Try to do 10 to 12 repetitions per leg.
- Crunches exercises with Pilates ring are ideal for strengthening the upper abdominal muscles. Sit up straight with your feet hip-width apart and parallel. Hold the ring over your chest with arms outstretched and slowly lie down on the floor. Exhale deeply and slowly roll your back back to the starting position. Sit-ups can also be done wonderfully with the Pilates ring. To do this, clamp the ring over your knees and lie on the floor with your legs bent. Exhale deeply, squeeze the ring tightly with your legs and straighten your upper body. Hold for a few seconds and slowly return to starting position.
- Side Leg Press – If you dream of slim and toned inner thighs, then this is the perfect Pilates Ring exercise for you! Lie on your left side and place the ring between your legs just above your knees. Your legs should be slightly forward from the rest of your body. Now with slow and deep breaths, squeeze the ring and hold for a slow count. Start slowly at first and gradually increase the pace. Make sure to keep your abdominal muscles activated during the exercise. It becomes even more challenging when you lift your legs off the floor with the ring tucked in.
Exercises with Pilates ring for a toned upper body
In addition to the abdomen, legs and buttocks, flabby upper arms are also one of the problem areas for many women. In order to tone and define our arms nicely, we should include special biceps and triceps exercises in our workout routine. However, you don’t necessarily have to lift heavy weights for this – Pilates Ring exercises are also ideal for getting the body in shape.
- Pilates ring squeeze is a fairly simple exercise at first glance, but the resistance puts a lot of strain on the pectoral muscles and arms. Stand upright about shoulder-width apart and hold the ring in front of your chest with both hands. Now squeeze tightly with all your strength and hold the position for about 5 seconds. Release the tension and repeat.
- Triceps exercise with the Pilates ring – Stand upright and hold the ring directly above your head. Keeping your back straight, tense your abdominals and buttocks and pull the ring apart as hard as you can.
- Lunges are a great exercise for legs and butt and if you add a Pilates ring, you can use it to additionally train the biceps and pecs. Take the ring in your hands and hold it directly in front of your chest. Get into a classic lunge and squeeze the ring tightly. Return to the starting position and release the squeeze. Return to lunge and squeeze the ring. Do approximately 10 to 12 repetitions per leg.
- Pull legs to chest – This is one of the best and most strenuous Pilates ring exercises to strengthen your abs and legs at the same time while improving your coordination. Sit on the floor and clamp the Pilates ring between your legs at the level of your ankles. Now lift your legs and upper body off the floor at the same time and lean back slightly. Squeeze the ring tightly and pull your knees toward your chest. Make sure to keep the upper body extended while performing.
- Back Stretch – Lie on your stomach with your legs extended and your gaze down. Hold the Pilates ring behind your back with your hands. Inhale deeply, tense the upper body slightly and push the hands up and back as far as possible. Exhale and slowly return to the starting position, moving the Pilates Ring back to the head with the hands.
- Exercises with Pilates Ring for Shoulders – Lie on the floor and hold the ring with both hands. Raise legs slightly bent off the floor and keep hands extended above head. Tighten abdominals and squeeze the ring as tightly as possible, bringing it from your head to your knees. Hold position briefly, release tension and return to starting position.