How to Use a Pilates Magic Circle

This innovative device allows you to get the most from the movements that work many different muscles in your body. Go try it out, you might love the results!
How to Use a Pilates Magic Circle

Last update: 10 November, 2019

This device is revolutionary in the Pilates world. But you can also use the Pilates magic circle in other workout routines, either at home or at the gym. In this article we’ll tell you how to get the most out of it!

What is the Pilates magic circle?

In Pilates class you may find equipment that helps to tackle a specific area of the body. One of the most efficient is the Pilates magic circle. This equipment may seem basic at first, but it’s actually very versatile.

It is said that Joseph Pilates, the creator of the discipline with millions of followers around the world, designed this device. “Legend” says that this man used to drink lots of beer; he even requested barrels of it at bars.

Exercises with magic circle

One day, he took inspiration from a barrel and thought that a circle could be made into an element, that would improve his exercises. He called it a ‘magic circle’ and nowadays it’s used in every Pilates class.

It’s a ring made out of a flexible material, of about 40 centimeters in diameter, that has two parallel grips. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first Pilates class or whether you’re an expert: the magic circle is for every level.

You can use the magic circle with different exercises: to work your arms, thighs, and you can also put it on your ankles or knees. Anything you can think of!

Although it may seem uncomfortable and cumbersome to use, the truth is that it increases the intensity of your workouts, improves posture, flexibility, tones and strengthens your muscles and helps give you amazing results. It’s part of the equipment that lets you get the most out of Pilates.

Exercises with the magic circle

In Pilates you can perform a wide range of exercises, that along with the magic circle, will give you the best results. Some of these are:

1. Abductor (hip) muscles exercises

This can also be performed using a Swiss ball, but with a magic circle, the pressure increases. Lie down on your side, support your upper body with your elbow and hold your head with the same hand.

Hip abductor magic circle

Put the magic circle between your ankles and lift your lower leg from the floor. Try to ‘close’ your feet together with force, for one minute. Then take a break and repeat on the other side.

2. Work the abs

You’re probably familiar with bicycle crunches which consist of ‘pedaling’ an imaginary bike, as you twist your core to your sides. There’s also a Pilates version of this exercise that uses the magic circle.

Lie down on your back with your legs stretched out, and lifted from the floor. Flex your right knee and twist your core to that same side. Hold the magic circle with your right knee and left elbow, as you stretch your left leg. Try to squeeze in your abdomen and do 20 repetitions. Then repeat on the other side.

3. Arm exercises

You may also use the magic circle to tone your arms. It’s as simple as standing up or sitting down with your back straight, and then stretching your arms out in front of you, at the same level as your shoulders.

Hold the magic circle with both hands and try to close your arms together. You’ll be working with your wrists, your forearms, your elbows, triceps and shoulders. This particular exercise helps you improve your posture!

4. Back and glutes

This is another exercise you can do with the magic circle, that improves posture and strengthens your lower back, as well as help you tone your glutes and legs. This movement has it all!

Lay down on your stomach, with your arms and legs stretched out. Take the magic circle in both of your hands. Lift your arms and legs off of the mat. Try to reach as high as you can. Hold for a few seconds and come back to the initial position. Do 20 repetitions!

It might interest you...
Simple Exercises to Do Pilates at Home
Fit People
Read it in Fit People
Simple Exercises to Do Pilates at Home

Pilates at home is without a doubt one of the best exercises you can do. It improves your strength, endurance, flexibility, and burns calories.


The contents of this publication are written for informational purposes. At no time do they facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.