There are quite a few names for a Pilates device known as the magic circle. The magic circle is a portable Pilates prop that practitioners use to to augment their Pilates fitness program. The magic circle comes in various forms, but it is basically a 13 to 16 inch hoop that is used as a resistance-training tool. The magic circle normally consists of a flat round spring steel hoop that is exposed or covered in a rubberized shell. There are usually padded handles on both the inside and the outside of the ring. The circles can be used to strengthen and tone legs, thighs, upper arms and chest.
The origins of Pilates came from the German born Joseph Pilate. Joseph was born in Mönchengladbach, Germany in 1883. When WWI broke out, Joseph was placed into forced internment in England. While in the internment camp, Joseph began to develop a series of exercises which he termed Contrology or the coordination of body, mind and spirit. The exercises eventually evolved into what is known as the Pilates.
It is rumored that Joseph Pilates made the first magic circle from the ring on a keg. Sort of funny to think that a keg of beer might have been inspiration for a fitness device.
Joseph Pilates believed in moderation “never do 10 pounds of effort for a 5 pound movement.” The magic circle is something that is supposed to be used in concert with other movement and not really by itself. It is used as a tool to add dimension and depth to an overall strength plan, while achieving core control.
The magic circle is designed to be used on the bare skin. When holding the circle in the hands, the fingers should be together and extended rather than gripping it. Knees and elbows should be slightly bent for maximum benefit.
Where To Find Them?
The Pilates magic circles are produced by various manufacturers. I have found that Pilates.com offers 3 great choices of circles which will pretty much fill the needs of most people. The Ultra-Fit Circle is designed for home use and retails $34. The The Flex Ring Toner is a gym quality magic ring and retails for $45. Most people will want to purchase the Flex Ring pads at an additional retail cost of $12. For those who like the old school ways, the faithful reproductions of Joseph Pilates’ Magic Circles are called the Spring Circles and retail for $70. You can also look on Amazon for a host of other magic circles and check out various reviews.
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