What Is Magic Circle ?

magic circle prop

What is the magic circle ?

magic circles Pilates group

The magic circle is a Pilates tool created by founder Joseph Pilates that’s intended to help practitioners find their center. It’s also referred to as a fitness circle, exercise ring, and a fitness ring, but “magic circle” is still the preferred name within Pilates. It is said that Joseph Pilates made the first magic circle from the ring of a keg.

Magic circle is a “add-on” meaning it’s not mandatory to perform exercises with, it diversifies the benefits. Because the props are small, lights and not expansive, a lot of studios are equipped with it, and also individuals.

More than anything, magic circles has many benefits.

What is a Magic circle ?

The Pilates magic circle is a ring, usually made of flexible metal or rubber, about 13 inches in diameter, with small pads on either side. It provides gentle to moderate resistance in an exercise. It also gives the body feedback about which muscles are being used. Flexible metal is the most common material for magic circles. There are some that are all rubber, but the rubber models tend to be to soft. ” If you have more strength person and wants more muscular challenge, then you will not want a rubber ring or the versions of the metal. If your purpose is mild resistance and more body placement oriented, then a lighter ring could be perfect. Sometimes lighter moves are more efficient than strong ones.

This little resistance prop is very popular due to its easy to be carried on, and used both in Mat classes & reformer classes.


Magic circles resistance is light, but they enhance an exercise benefit and feedbacks; It gives the body & mind a very good feeling of which muscles contracting and how to engage properly. The magic circle provides gentle to moderate resistance in an exercise.

Instead, this prop is integrated to be mindful into the body to support or challenge you during exercises. It provides gentle tension to activate muscles. It can be squeezed light to hard to increase the resistance during certain exercises to build strength, control and body-mind connection.

pilates mat shanghai jeydancepilayes

It helps develop more awareness and mind focus, magic circles with light tension, gives you a lot of feedbacks on the movement performed. I explain: this prop can be used to “guide” the body, target the right muscles and the right sensation in an exercice. It develops control & precision.

When placed between ankles or thighs, the resistance from the ring is great for strengthening inner thighs and activating the pelvic floor. We use it a lot for postnatal Rehab.

Squeezed between hands, this ring is an effective way of building arm, chest arm and shoulder strength, thoracic spine control and shoulder girdle.

Adding the magic circle to your mat workout can also help you find the right muscles and challenge your movement (precision, center, see above)

Used in combination with the mat leg circle series, for instance, squeezing the ring can help you find those hard to target side hip muscles & adductors

When placed between your hands behind your back for extension exercises, like dart, the ring shape supports your chest opening. Squeezing on the ring as you move into extension means that the tension creates a further challenge to the movement and strengthens your back muscles.


1- Into the hands

Place your open palms on the pads on the outside of the ring. With slightly bent arms, raise the ring directly above your chest and keep it there.

Press gently on the ring to create some tension and keep this tension as you perform the exercise. This will increase the challenge to your arms and involve (and work) the whole body in this exercise. It creates shoulder strength, chest arms, and pectorals development. Upper back strength.

magic circle hands

2- In your ankles

Place in your ankles the magic circle is adding inner tights muscles challenge and pelvic floor activation. With proper breathing it will also helps feel your deep core muscles such as transverse abdominis. The adductors are ribbonlike muscles attached along the femur thighbone that help to rotate, flex, and squeeze the thighs together. Potentially, they are among the strongest muscles in the human body, even though we forget to use them enough in modern life.

3– Inside the knees – lightly above knees

This will target right into your adductors, but also external rotators, back muscles and deepest abdominal muscle, it’s a good exercise to feel core & pelvic floor. The anterior muscle chain of the legs is also targeted.

4- Side lying leg press

side lying press leg

The side-lying leg press is a mat exercise done with the Pilates magic circle. It is a good exercise for thigh that focuses challenge on the inner thighs. It also tones the glutes (butt muscles) quite well. The whole Pilates powerhouse is engaged and creates length and stability.

This exercise especially works the adductor muscles which draw your legs together.

4- Palm Press crossed legs

This exercise is very good for pectorals, chest, pelvic floor and obliques, lower abdominals.

In the palm press, the position of the body combined with the pressing of the magic circle with flat palm activates and lifts the pelvic floor muscles while strengthening the waist, obliques and lower abdominals.

Pilates ring and exercise mat kept on wooden floor
Pilates ring and exercise mat kept on wooden floor in fitness center
There is so many exercises we can use Magic circles with, now you have some examples - if you want to learn more or practice 
EMAIL US to discover our schedule & book your class:

Detox for the festive season

Big fest meals: how to Detox in between your Festive Season? 

We Hear “DETOX” everywhere and it’s tempting, let’s eat like a pig, and then detox.  But should  Detox makes sense ? 
First of all let’s explain what Detox really means:  “process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances; detoxification”When you ask your doctor, he’s looking up and say “do you really think that body is un pure and can’t flush by it self ?” 

detox water

***So Detox Or Intox ?***

1- Detox is everyday

First it’s obvious that detox for one week or two to “toxify” the week after and double the excesses, has no sens. It might even be more dangerous for your health than no detox at all. The more you accumulate: fat and sugar, polluted air, chemicals and so on, the less you are active, you lack of sleep and have poor lifestyle habits, the more you metabolism is suffering. With time, to reverse damages is more and more difficult until it becomes impossible. It’s changing your DNA for good. 

For example if you sleep few hours for several months: you will damage your metabolism and brain (sleep is the best recovery process). And even if, after six months of poor sleep, you decide to reverse the damages and go for a big time sleep, it’s better than nothing, but will not be enough. The good way would be to: sleep well every night. The faster you balance excesses and poor lifestyle habits, the more efficient it is. The more you wait, the more dangerous it becomes.

 Detox is a little bit the same : it’s not a magic solution that vanishes all the excesses at once.

2- DETOX for Food: 

raw nuts

Let’s take Christmas: most of us consume more alcohol, more food: fat, sweet and salted. You feel like you’re having an hard time to digest, and it’s a quite true. Your liver is working like crazy and produces a lot of bile to eliminate fat and sweet; plus it has to filter all the toxins that came from ethanol, heavy metals, pesticides, and all the other stuff we find into modern processed food; It is over loaded and suffocating organ.

***How to balance ?***

1- Light your liver

Wait before your next meal.  Experts now agreed On the benefit of intermittent fasting on your metabolism; it’s a a real “miracle”. 

You just have to wait 10-16 hours in between two meals (especially after heavy ones) and your body will start detoxing by it self. Intermittent fasting is completely repairing impacts of big fat meals on your metabolism.

You’ll get through without a cling; It’s a natural and super powerful internal cleansing. This has been such a tremendous discovery, that Japanese Yoshinori Ohsumi won a Nobel prize for it. 

2-Choose Wisely 

During meal it self, chose lighter options, it’s either alcohol or desserts. Balance the duck liver with lots of salad and fiber. My self I like to have champagne, but i’ll pass on the dessert. I’ll  go for seafood and bread, but no mayonnaise and salad on the side. 
my meal example:

christmas meal

3- Move, and move again

We will never say it enough, and that’s my job: physical activity is changing everything in your daily life habits and overall health. 

Sport is an amazing tool to regenerate and detoxify your body: 

  • it activates blood circulation. Blood circulation oxygenates liver and kidneys, responsable to get rid of toxins. 
  • Sweat; to sweat is eliminating heavy metals like plumb and mercure. 
  • Sport is activating lymphatic system, precious fluid that helps flush the toxins. 
  • Sport helps to dissolute fat cells, themselves responsible for toxins and accumulation. 

If you really don’t like sport: you can chose a “steam room” or sauna, it will help evacuate toxins. Be careful though, it will also eliminate minerals: think hydratation. 


– Artichokes, charcoal, black radish and old root have huge detox effect. 

– Crucifers (kale, cabbages)-B Vitamin

 – Zinc, magnesium (can use pills) – Omega 3: fatty fishes, salmons and fish liver. 

Emphasize on Drinking ; tea, infusions, detox water (water with veggies / fruits) and coconut water are good options full of minerals and drainage functions. 

lemon water jeydancepilates

But DETOX is everyday, natural, and needs to be done RIGHT AFTER excesses and regularly.  *

bali pilates retreat