Firstly for the arm exercises. Many traditional gym exercises can be performed with the Pilates circle. The bicep curl, the most common upper arm strengthening exercise can be done with the circle. The starting position can be either standing or kneeling. Hold onto the ring on either side with your arms straight down in front of you. Apply a moderate to strong force squeezing the circle between your arms. Maintain this squeeze and perform the bicep curl movement. You should feel similar resistance in your biceps as you would when lifting weights doing a dumbel curl.
Another exercise that can be performed with the ring is a isometric pec squeeze. Start off standing or sitting with both arms straight out in front of you. Hold the circle between your outstretched hands and squeeze the end together as hard as you can. As you squeeze you should feel your pectoral muscles working.
The legs can also be exercised using the pilates circle. A great unique exercise to the pilates ring is the modified bridge. Traditionally the bridge exercise targets the gluteal and hamstring muscles. By adding a ring to the exercise the adductor muscles can also be targeted. The starting position is the same as you would with the traditional bridge, lying on your back with feet flat on the floor, knees bent to about 90 degrees. Place the ring between your thighs, just above the knees and squeeze you knees together firmly as you complete the exercise.
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