Blog Fitness Pilates Pilates Ring Exercises for A Balanced Body

Pilates Ring Exercises for A Balanced Body

Ever wonder how a simple ring could amp up your workout game? Well, get ready to dive into the world of Pilates ring exercises with us! We’re about to throw the door open on how these magic circles can turn your fitness routine into something way cooler.

Pilates is a type of mind-body workout that can be traced back to the beginning of the 20th century. It is said to have been created by a German man who struggled with a weak body (11). It is a form of strength training exercise, as it helps improve and boost your muscular strength, flexibility, and stabilization. 

Many types of Pilates workouts, like Pilates for runners and Pilates for beginners, can help build stamina and strength. They can also provide many health benefits and help with pains and aches (10)

Though it is possible to do Pilates exercises at home with just a mat and without other equipment, props can sometimes be added to it to increase intensity and resistance. One standard tool for Pilates exercises is the Pilates ring that adds resistance to regular Pilates exercises.  

It is a flexible and lightweight ring usually made of rubber or metal coated with rubber. The Pilates ring has many varieties and can be incorporated in different ways, and in many Pilates exercises. Now, let’s have a detailed look at the features and exercises using a Pilates ring.

Is Pilates Ring Good for Workout?

Indeed, the Pilates ring is beneficial for workouts as it adds resistance to the exercise. Since Pilates is a form of strength training, increasing weight or resistance can amplify the results. It is an adjustable tool that can help target different body parts like thighs, arms, ankles, and torso, making the muscles do the extra work. This can build and tone those muscles more effectively.

In addition, Pilates ring exercises primarily help to focus on your body’s core muscles. It can build up and improve your core strength (7). This can result in enhanced balance and stability. Also, Pilates ring exercises aid by engaging more than one muscle group in the workout simultaneously, as the muscular tension is increased, due to the addition of the Pilates ring.

See also
Pilates For Weight Loss: Does It Work? What Experts Say

Apart from these, the Pilates ring also boosts the other health benefits of regular Pilates exercises. It makes you feel more energetic and active. Heart health can be improved due to increased blood circulation allowing more oxygen and nutrient flow to vital organs and tissues. As a plus, there are many low-impact Pilates ring exercises for seniors.

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Do You Really Need A Pilates Ring?

There is no denying the fact that Pilates can indeed be done without any equipment, including the Pilates ring. It can still benefit your health and muscles, increasing your strength and flexibility. 

As mentioned earlier, Pilates ring exercises have more resistance to work with, which can make your muscles and other body parts work harder. It is a type of resistance but is lighter and more adaptable. This makes it easier to work with, increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of your Pilates workout.

The Pilates ring goes by many other names, like fitness or exercise rings. The most common name is the magic circle, which can bring incredible outcomes. As resistance increases, your muscles are required to exert more effort, creating an increased sense of body awareness.

In short, a Pilates ring is something that you should incorporate into your exercises if you are determined to make your workout sessions more effective. But, it does not mean you cannot do your Pilates workout if it is unavailable. You can still do it with just a mat and no other equipment.

pilates ring exercises 

What Size Pilates Ring To Get?

Pilates rings are available in many varieties, differing in size, material, and flexibility. When buying one, there are several things that you need to be aware of. 

You can start by deciding the material you want for your Pilates ring. The rings are usually made of rubber or metal coated with rubber. Rubber ones are more flexible, offering less resistance. Beginners can choose rubber rings. If you are looking for a more challenging workout to build and tone muscles, pick up a metal one, as they offer the most resistance.

See also
Wall Pilates Workout for Beginners

These Pilates rings also vary in weight, with some being more lightweight than others. Try selecting lightweight ones, as they are better for Pilates ring exercises. 

Plus, some have handles on two sides to make handling easier. You can take into consideration your workout routine and exercises to decide whether or not you need the handles. In some exercises, the handles make the Pilates ring more convenient. For others, they may interrupt your movements.

One of the most important things to decide is the size of your ring. Pilates rings also vary in size, more specifically the size of their diameter. The range is generally 12 to 15 inches in diameter (4). In Pilates ring exercises, you are supposed to hold it between your different body parts, so you need to decide on the diameter size, depending on your body type. Usually, experts suggest using 14-inch or 15-inch diameter Pilates rings (13).

Read more: Wall Pilates for Butt: A Quick Guide for Beginners

How Do You Use A Pilates Ring For Beginners?

If you are a beginner, starting with your Pilates ring exercises for the first time, you should use a more flexible, lightweight ring. Start with exercises that are of low intensity and give your body enough time to adjust.

Below is an example of Pilates ring exercises for beginners.

Pilates Bridge

This exercise is especially effective for the lower body. It is considered one of the best Pilates ring exercises for inner thigh and glutes (14).

  1. Start by lying on your back on the exercise mat, such that your knees are bent and feet are flat on the floor.
  2. Put the Pilates ring between your thighs, slightly above the knees, squeezing inwards.
  3. Now gently lift your back so that a bridge position is formed.
  4. Maintain the position, squeeze the ring, activate the glutes, and slowly lower back to your original position (8).

This is an example of an easy Pilates ring exercise that can be done at home if you are a beginner. You can also look online for more Pilates ring exercises for the legs, arms, and hamstrings.

See also
Pilates Exercises for Beginners - Going from Zero to Hero!

Is A Pilates Ring Good For Inner Thighs?

Pilates rings help a lot in toning the inner thighs. It is considered a perfect alternative to a thigh toner. Many Pilates ring exercises target and train your inner thigh muscles. In these exercises, a Pilates ring is usually used by squeezing it between the thighs. This adds to the resistance that your inner thigh muscles have to work against.

Squeezing the ring with the thighs can increase the tension and create a sense of body awareness and alignment. This may cause the inner thigh muscles to work more to maintain balance and stability. Thus, these usually difficult-to-reach muscles may become strengthened and toned (6).

pilates ring exercises  

How Do You Use Pilates Ring For Glutes?

Glutes are muscles of the buttocks that account for a great deal of the strength, stability and balance of the lower body. It also aids in movements, rotation, and locomotion (5). Therefore, building and strengthening them is important.

Many Pilates ring exercises target and train the glutes. The Pilates bridge exercise, described above, is also a perfect example for training glutes. The side-lying leg lift is another example of using a Pilates ring for the glutes. 

Here is the method to perform a side-lying leg lift:

  1. On a flat surface, lie on your side such that your legs are aligned with your body and your head is supported by your hand beneath you.
  2. Place your feet through the Pilates ring so it is a couple of inches above the ankle.
  3. Inhale and exhale a deep breath. 
  4. Then straighten your top leg and lift it slowly in a controlled manner, stretching and creating tension in the ring.
  5. Slowly, lower the leg back to the original position. 
  6. Repeat this lifting and lower movement in a balanced manner, ensuring that the ring is in place. Do it at least 10 times for each leg (1).

How Do You Use Pilates Ring For Abs?

Since Pilates ring exercises help to improve stability and build core strength it ultimately helps to activate and strengthen the abs, therefore, if you wish to improve and build abs, you can go with a different Pilates ring exercise.  An example of such exercise is the roll-up exercise using a Pilates ring.

See also
6 Pilates Principles You Must Know To Get Started

Here’s the technique to perform the roll-up exercise with a Pilates ring (2):

  1. First, get in the position by lying on your back on the floor. Then, hold the Pilates ring with both palms, raised slightly above your head.
  2. Using your core strength and abdominal muscles, lift your upper back, shoulder, and neck forward while squeezing the ring. Lift your spine such that it is in a curved sitting position.
  3. When you have curved forward enough that the ring is over your feet, maintain the position briefly before lowering your back downwards to the original position.
  4. Repeat this movement several times. 

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Can You Build Muscle With A Pilates Ring?

Given that Pilates ring exercises help with core strength, they can help to build muscles. Pilates, itself is a style of strength training, and using a Pilates ring simply adds to the resistance. In other words, it makes the exercise more effective for building muscles. 

Pilates ring exercises zoom in on tricky-to-reach muscles, such as the inner thighs and glutes. All these exercises do a bit of muscle building. Imagine doing wall Pilates core exercises, roll-ups, planks, leg lifts, or single leg circles – now, add a Pilates ring, and bam! 

You’ve just turned up the muscle-building dial. Easy peasy, right? 

What Are Pilates Ring Exercises For Arms?

Like other body parts, Pilates ring exercises help tone arm muscles. These exercises let you target, train, and build your triceps, biceps, chest and shoulders (3).

The following are some Pilates ring exercises that focus on the arms:

Arm Press with the Ring:

  1. Sit or stand with the ring in front of your chest, elbows bent.
  2. Press the ring outward, straightening your arms while keeping tension against the ring.
  3. Slowly return to the starting position, maintaining resistance.
See also
How to Use a Pilates Ring To Get The Most Out Of Your Mat Workout

Triceps Squeeze:

  1. Position yourself on the floor on hands and knees with one side of the ring on the floor and the other end in your hand.
  2. Extend your elbow, pressing the ring into the floor and engaging your tricep.
  3. Release and return to the starting position.

Bicep Squeeze:

  1. Place one side of the ring on top of your shoulder while holding the opposite side in your hand, elbow bent.
  2. Squeeze the ring into your shoulder, engaging the bicep of the arm doing the pressing.
  3. Release the squeeze and repeat.

pilates ring exercises  

Lateral Arm Raises:

  1. Hold the ring with both hands at your side.
  2. Lift the ring out to the sides, keeping your arms straight.
  3. Lower the ring back down with control.

Arm Circles:

  1. Hold the ring with both hands in front of you.
  2. Make small circles with the ring, first clockwise and then counterclockwise.
  3. Focus on controlled movements to engage the arms.

Shoulder Press:

  1. Hold the ring at shoulder height with both hands.
  2. Press the ring overhead, extending your arms.
  3. Lower the ring back to shoulder height.

Try to maintain proper form and control your movements during these exercises. Pilates could be a challenging exercise if you are a beginner. Working with a fitness trainer could help you learn how to make your movements more fluid.

Read more: Pilates Full Body Workout for Beginners (No Equipment Needed)

pilates ring exercises  


  • Does Pilates help you tone or lose weight?

Pilates is a strength training workout that helps tone and strengthen your body. As for weight loss, it is not as effective as a high-intensity workout that burns a considerable number of calories in a short time. Nonetheless, a study proved that Pilates does help shed some extra pounds and get rid of body fat, when combined with a healthy diet (11).

  • What can you use instead of a Pilates ring?

If you are doing Pilates ring exercises at home but the Pilates ring itself is unavailable, fret not. Some household alternatives can be used in place of the ring. You can use a pillow or a thick book if the exercises involve movements away from the body. You can use a band, belt, or even a soft pliable ball if the movement is towards the body (12).

  • Why are ring exercises harder?

Ring exercises are a bit harder and more challenging than the basic ones because the ring increases resistance. Incorporating it into an exercise means more work will be done by the muscles to maintain stability during the required movement.

The Bottom Line

Pilates is a strength training exercise that can be quickly done at home. It can increase stability, flexibility, core strength, and muscular endurance and has many health benefits. Though Pilates can be done without any props, adding a Pilates ring to your exercises is recommended. This is so because it improves resistance which makes a workout session more effective.

Pilates ring exercises can help you to target areas that are usually difficult to reach with other workouts. This includes Pilates ring exercises for inner thighs, glutes, and abdominal muscles. If you are a beginner, you can start with low-intensity Pilates ring exercises to let your body adapt. Remember to consult your physician first if you have any underlying medical conditions.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  2. 10 Best Pilates Ring Exercises to Strengthen Your Core, According to Experts (2023,
  3. Arm Toning Pilates Ring Exercises (2015,
  4. Buying a Magic Circle Pilates Ring (2021,
  5. Gluteal Muscles (N.A,
  6. How Do Pilates Rings Work On Inner Thighs? (2023,
  7. How Does a Pilates Ring Benefit Your Body (n.d.,
  8. How To Use Pilates Ring in a Workout: 7 Exercises For Beginners (2023,
  9. Is Pilates good for weight loss? (2023,
  10. Pilates 101: What It Is and Health Benefits  (2023,
  11. Pilates: how does it work and who needs it? (2011,
  12. Pilates Prop Substitutions (2020,
  13. The 5 best Pilates rings for a more challenging at-home workout (2022,
  14. The Secret to a Perfect Pilates Bridge? It’s All About a Push-Pull (2022,