What is the Magic Circle in Pilates?
The magic circle is a circular shaped resistance equipment which is a popular addition to matwork pilates classes.
The circle is made from a relatively flexible material and is designed to provide a variable amount of resistance, dependent on how hard it is squeezed.
As the picture shows, there are 2 double sided handles on opposite sides of the magic circle. This provides a comfortable position to squeeze in with hands, knees or feet. The handles are both on the inside and outside of the circle so that you can work a greater number of muscles by being able to squeeze inwards & outwards. For example, pushing the circle inwards would strengthen the inner thigh adductors whereas pushing the circle outwards would strengthen the outer thigh abductors
Why use the magic circle?
The magic circle is a great piece of pilates equipment to add to your routine as it provides an easy way of adding resistance into your pilates workout, thereby increasing your muscle strength. Furthermore, the magic circle can also be used to aid joint mobility & increase flexibility
Also, the magic circle is a highly adaptable piece of equipment. You’re able to add the magic circle variation into the vast majority of classic pilates exercises which increases our bodies strength, movement control & stability!
Benefits of using the magic circle?
The stand out major benefit of using the magic circle results from the resistance it provides, it increases our muscle strength & endurance. As we get stronger, the traditional pilates exercises become less challenging, therefore, it’s important that we continually challenge our body with the addition of new exercise variations & equipment. It also makes exercise more fun!
Adopt a back lying position with your knees bent. Place the magic circle between your knees. Squeeze both knees into the circle and maintain the squeeze for 20 seconds. Repeat this 3-5 times.
This is a great exercise to strengthen the inner thigh groin muscles
Adopt your classic shoulder bridge exercise position, having both legs threaded through the magic circle, placing both handles just above the outer knee. Completr your shoulder bridge exercise, at the top, squeeze both knees into the circle and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 5-10 times.
This is a great glute burner exercises working both the large glute in the bum and the smaller glutes at the side of the hip.
Adopt a standing position, holding the magic circle in both hands with palms facing into the outer handle. Push the handles together to squeeze into the circle. Hold this for 20 seconds, repeat 5 times.
This is a great chest & arm exercise to strengthen and tone the upper limbs
There are endless amounts of other magic circle variations so ask your pilates instructor for some extra variations or magic circle exercises for a particular muscle group that you want to strengthen.