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  • Writer's pictureErica O.

Ring of Fire, Anyone?

If you’re one of my clients, chances are you’ve used the magic circle during one of our sessions together. Trust me, you would remember if you’ve used it! The magic circle, also commonly known as the Pilates circle or fitness circle, is one of the most versatile tools in Pilates. It’s a tool that’s so simple, yet so effective!

What is the Magic Circle?

The pilates circle is just that - a circle. It’s a lightweight circle that can be incorporated into an exercise to provide resistance and promote good form. It can also make you more aware of imbalances in your body.

Rumor has it that Joseph Pilates, the founder of Pilates, created the first magic circle using a metal ring from around a beer barrel. Don’t worry, the magic circle has evolved a lot since then. Today the magic circle can be made of flexible metal, composite, or fiberglass and offers a squishier feel and less resistance than an all-metal ring.

How is it Used?

You can use the magic circle to provide gentle to moderate resistance to almost any Pilates exercise. With that said, it’s not supposed to be used for strength training. So, don’t squeeze the circle to death during an exercise!

It allows you to be more mindful of imbalances in your body. For example, if you place the magic circle between your legs and squeeze your legs together, you may notice one leg is getting more of a burn than the other. The leg not getting as strong of a burn during the exercise needs some one-on-one attention to build up strength.


Ready to feel the burn of the ring of fire? Try this exercise at home.

  1. Sitting on a mat, place the circle around the outside of your knees.

  2. Position yourself to lay on your side.

  3. With your core engaged, press your top leg against the circle towards the ceiling and your bottom leg down.

  4. Repeat for 10-15 reps.

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