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Tone your beach bum with the Pilates ring.
Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
The Pilates ring is also known as a magic circle, power circle or fitness ring, and it does perform magic. The addition of this small circle to your Pilates exercises increases the effectiveness due to the elevated resistance. Your legs and bum work harder to do each Pilates movement and your hips contract when you exercise the outer thighs. Your glutes lift, your hips firm and the muscles increase in size. The rings are inexpensive and easy to store and they travel well so you never have to miss your workout.1.
Warm your body with five minutes of full-body exercise, such as marching in place, climbing stairs or walking.2.
Lie face up on the floor or on an exercise mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place the ring in between your legs and slightly above your knees. Exhale and raise your hips, while at the same time squeezing your legs against the ring. Lift your hips and lower back until only your upper back and head remain in contact with the floor. Inhale and slowly release. Perform 10 bridges to tighten your bum. Then, place your knees inside the ring. As you raise your hips, press out with your knees to strengthen your hips and outer thighs for 10 repetitions.3.
Set the ring on the floor and place the back side of your right ankle on top of it. Straighten your right leg. Lie face up and extend your left leg toward the ceiling. Press down onto the ring with your right leg to contract your glutes. Draw five large circles in a counter-clockwise direction with your left leg and then five large clockwise circles to strengthen your hips. Switch legs and place the back side of your left ankle on the ring. Press down with your left leg to squeeze your glutes. Raise your right leg and repeat the circles with your right leg to improve your hips.4.
Lie face down and bend your knees to 90-degree angles. Place the ring between your heels. Raise your upper thighs off the floor as you squeeze your heels together. Release and repeat for 10 repetitions to lift your glutes.5.
Target your hips and outer thighs in a side-lying position. Lie on your right side with your legs straight and your feet inside the ring. Position your ankles against the soft pads on the ring. Press up against the ring with your left leg and maintain the press for one second as you feel the contraction in your hips. Slowly release and repeat 10 times. Complete the press with your right leg.6.
Remain in a side lying position, but move your ankles to rest against the smooth portion of the ring. Lift both legs slightly off the floor. Slowly lower your left foot in a half-circle toward your right foot and following the outline of the ring. Your right foot moves behind the left. Return your feet to the starting position. Complete 10 side leg walks on each leg to target your glutes and hips.7.
Perform your Pilates exercises two or three days a week with at least one day of rest in between workouts to see and feel improvements in your glutes and hips.
- Pilates ring
- Exercise mat
- Speak with your doctor before you begin any new workout routine.