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What Is a Pilates Ring?

A pilates ring is a new fitness tool that helps individuals do light body resistance work. The Pilates ring follows traditional Pilates principles. One of these is using light resistance to work and tone muscle groups.

The Pilates ring is a plastic circular device. It may include foam handles on either side of the ring, for specialized activities where the user will grasp the Pilates ring in both hands. The elasticity of the Pilates ring provides the kind of resistance that fitness participants can use to gradually improve muscle tone or body response. The Pilates ring is sometimes also called a Windsor ring, or a Windsor Pilates sculpting circle. All of these tools have a similar simple design for expanding and enhancing your existing Pilates program.

Some Things Users Do with the Pilates Ring

The Pilates ring can be used in a variety of exercises. These are useful in some upper body work activities, as well as some exercises and routines for the lower body.

For upper body work, users grasp the Pilates ring with both arms, putting pressure inward. Other exercises involve placing the Pilates ring between the body and a floor surface. Roll-ups, seated presses and more rely on the elasticity of the ring to "push back" against the body and cause a targeted response that will eventually have a significant effect on muscle groups.

For lower bodywork, the Pilates ring can be squeezed between the hips, knees or ankles. There are a number of other activities that use the Pilates ring in similar ways.

Part of the New Fitness Tool Set

The idea behind the Pilates ring is not something that is restricted to one specific fitness tool. A wide range of devices help individuals at all levels to work various muscle groups. The concepts of light resistance, isometrics and simple training setups have encouraged the use of portable tools like the Pilates ring.

The kind of light resistance work that users do with the Pilates ring can be adapted to other tools like resistance bands, foam rollers or even light free weights. The Pilates ring can also be used as a balance challenge tool. Other balance challenge tools include balance pods, wobble boards and assorted other devices for challenging the body to respond to an imbalance. These activities can improve range of motion and agility, as well as overall body capacity. That's why many are choosing to include them in daily routines along with "heavier" workout activities like endurance cardio and heavy weight training.

The Pilates ring is generally a primary tool for doing some of these activities within the context of traditional Pilates. This fitness art can be done without any tools, but for many participants, a Pilates ring or other device helps them to fully engage in activities. The basic use of fitness tools helps to bring a central focus to an activity, which is important for beginners and others who may not be experienced in the subtler forms of pilates or any other similar practice. Think about inlcuding some of these tools for light resistance in your training regimen.

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