3 Great Pilates Circles

By Melissa Lewis , last updated January 19, 2012

Pilates circles make it possible to take your workout anywhere. Not only are these simple exercise accessories compact and easily portable, they also offer amazing versatility. By changing how you hold a Pilates ring, you can effectively target different muscle groups, and it’s up to you whether you exercise with your ring on the mat, or use it in conjunction with a reformer workout. Pilates practice does wonders to improve muscle tone and endurance, and the resistance created by a ring zeroes in on thighs, arms, chest, and pelvic muscles, getting you faster results in these problem areas. These three Pilates circles can help to get you toned in no time.

Pilates Spring Circle

This reproduction of Joseph Pilates' original Magic Circle appeals to traditionalists with its tempered spring steel ring and padded wooden handles, and it doesn’t exclude practitioners at varying stages of conditioning. The Pilates Spring Circle is available in three resistances, or “bands,” so you can choose the right ring for your current level of strength. Pick the 2-band Pilates ring if you’re an absolute beginner, or if you’ve been inactive for a while; if you’re no stranger to strength training, go with the 4-band Spring Circle. Most people fall in the middle of the spectrum, and find that the 3-band ring is just right. The Spring Circle is available online at Balanced Body for $70.00, but $84.95 gets you a video that outlines more than 50 exercises, too.

Flex Ring Toner

Joseph Pilates’ original design might be entirely effective, but this newfangled version has a more practical appeal, and it’s ultimately more comfortable to use. The Flex Ring Toner’s steel core does everything the original Spring Circle does, but it’s coated in hygienic, non-slip rubber. A lightweight, compact design makes this version conveniently portable, and it fits in a suitcase so you can take your workout with you when you travel. Because the overall width of the of this Pilates ring is narrower than most others, a wider variety of body types will find it comfortable to use. However, while the lack of sharp edges allows you to use all parts of the ring for greater versatility, the Flex Ring Toner is only offered in a resistance level that falls between a 3-band and 4-band Spring Circle, so it isn’t suitable for beginners. If you’re ready for resistance, grab one for $45.00 at Balanced Body online.

Stamina Pilates Magic Circle

Stamina’s Magic Circle also employs a steel core ring to create resistance, and a professional-grade rubber coating for comfort, durability, and hygiene. The molded, nonporous padding is impervious to sweaty workouts, and the form-molded grips cradle the curves of your body so you can comfortably maintain the precise form that wins you a sculpted physique. And when it comes to price, Stamina’s version can’t be beat. Order it at Sports Authority online, and you not only get the Magic Circle, but also an instructional video, for just $29.99. If you’re just starting to explore the benefits of Pilates, this kit makes it easy; you can try it out without a major investment, and the resistance level is perfect for beginners.

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