The Power Circle
Love it or hate it, there is no denying the power of the circle. This portable piece of pilates equipment can benefit the whole body.
You may well groan when you see it laid out before you as you enter your class but let’s take a moment to see what this multifunctional circle of magic can actually do for your body and maybe you might just change your view.
Exercises with the power circle can be done in various positions including standing, sitting and lying down. The ring's resistance speeds up toning by targeting specific muscles, it's especially useful in problem areas like the inner and outer thighs, upper arms, the chest and even the pelvic muscles.
If the power circle is placed between the legs it can be used to work a variety of muscles in the legs. It can be used between the ankles (which can be tricky to master at first) and also between the thighs.
It can really help to tone and strengthen inner thighs. The circle is also an invaluable tool to really activate the glutes and encourage focus onto this underused muscle and important element of the overall Powerhouse.
If the circle is held between outstretched and lengthened arms then the whole upper body comes into play. Biceps and triceps in the arms can be toned and the muscles in the chest can be strengthened and lifted. Using the power circle can help focus on keeping shoulders down and really working the arms from the back, strengthening these important shoulder muscles.
Whether working with the circle between legs or hands, the powerhouse is constantly in play. The abdominals are needed to maintain balance and posture throughout all the exercises. The power circle constantly challenges and threatens the body’s stability throughout the workout leading to a stronger and more stable centre.
In pilates, every part of the regimen revolves around the “core”. Joseph Pilates often referred to the core as the “powerhouse ”
As you can see, this much maligned piece of kit can help to build and tone muscles, allows you to target multiple body areas, adds to upper body stability and improves your balance and as it is so small it is easy to store, so you can continue your Pilates workouts at home and even take it with you on your travels.
Power circles can be made from flexible plastic or sprung steel but be aware that not all circles are created equal. There are cheap varieties on the market these may not provide the resistance needed to gain the full effect from the exercises. There is also the very real possibility that they will break suddenly and without warning. It could become a false economy. We recommend the professional edition Align-Pilates Pro Ring, available from our online store.
Next time you are faced with a power circle, just stop and think for a moment what this little piece of kit can really do for your body. Work the Power circle and work your Powerhouse.