Pilates Spotlight: Pilates Ring

| Fitness

The Pilates ring, also known as the ring of fire, is an excellent facilitator of concentric contractions and isometric holds. It can add a tough resistance to any glute bridge or plank. More than that, the ring is used for getting deeper into well-deserved stretches. You can find them online between $10 and $40.

pilates ring

Bridge with Pilates Ring: Adding a ring to this exercise is going to isolate the glutes even more. In a traditional bridge, you roll up the hips so you have a straight line declining from the top of the knees down to the shoulders. There should be a little scoop in your belly to make sure you're engaging the abs and not pushing up with the lower back. Once you're here, squeeze in and out on the ring to work the inner thighs and burn up the glutes. A variation of squeezes, pulses, taps and holds will leave those buns toasted. Click here for more details on this move. glute bridge

V-Sit with Pilates Ring: Using the ring during a V-sit is not a cruel challenge. It actually helps your form quite a bit. The ring requires you to stabilize the core and lengthen the legs more than you might do without it. This lengthening will translate into leaner muscle build. Usually when you try to hold a V-sit, you might tense up, pulling the muscles in. This way, you can focus on long, strong holds for a long, strong body. You can actually place the pads between the ankles for a better grip. You can use your hands to get your balance. Slowly release your weight from them as you hold the sit. Click here for a little more on the V-sit.

Vsit

Side Leg Press: With the same side elbow and hip on the floor, press the top leg straight down, over the ring. To stay in control, begin with smaller presses, then move on to bigger presses with longer holds. The resistance of the ring forces the adductors to contract, working the inner thighs like nothing else can. Click here for a breakdown of the outer thigh version of this movement.

side leg press

Stretches: 

Sitting down with your legs straight out in front of you, you can wrap the ring around the balls of your feet and pull yourself into a deep hamstring stretch and lower back release. Lie on your back and pull one leg toward your chest by placing the ring behind the ball of your foot and pulling it toward you. Try to keep the knee straight. Lie on your belly and bend one leg. Pull it toward you using the ring.