A Pilates magic circle is a piece of exercise equipment that many Pilates fans swear by today. It’s a ring, usually about 15” to 18” inches around with handles on each side. By pushing and pulling on the ring you add resistance to your Pilates workout. But do you really need a Pilates magic circle to get a good workout?
Pilates was actually designed to be done on a machine called a Reformer. Because not everyone had access to these machines and the movements proved to be so beneficial, Pilates routines were developed that didn’t require the machine at all. And they weren’t designed to be done with a ring, either.
Many perfectly good workouts don’t use a machine, a Pilates circle, or resistance of any kind except your own resistance as you move through the exercises. But a ring can help you achieve more intensity in your exercises.
If you can add resistance to a Pilates workout, the movements simply do double duty, and you may be able to get in shape faster than if you didn’t use resistance. So while it’s not absolutely necessary to have a Pilates magic circle, if you want one you should consider it a good investment.
All of the Pilates rings aren’t made alike. You can find them for as little as $15 and for as much as $75. Do you need the most expensive one you can find? You can probably get by with a less expensive one. Just test it a little bit before you make the purchase to be sure it seems like it can hold up to repeated workouts. Rings that don’t bounce back properly won’t do you much good.
The Pilates exercise circle can also be used in other workouts to add resistance, so you might find it’s more versatile than you thought. Being able to use it during other exercises certainly increases its value. You’ll use it more, and get more benefit from it that way.
But even if you purchase a Pilates magic circle, you should consider purchasing another very inexpensive piece of workout equipment. And this exercise equipment is even more versatile than the ring.
Resistance bands offer varying levels of resistance to meet your needs, and can be used with almost any exercise. They also offer the benefit of longer movements than a Pilates ring can offer. You can hold a resistance band and stretch both arms fully out to your sides, or do high leg lifts with intensity, and the band will always snap back into place.
This piece of equipment can be and often is used during Pilates workouts, because it puts resistance on both the flex and relax movements of each muscle, which is a cornerstone of Pilates exercise.
Resistance bands can cost as little as $10, and can be used in a variety of ways, so they’re a great investment. Even if you purchase a Pilates magic circle for specific exercises, you might want to consider incorporating bands into your workout, too.