Last month we demonstrated several stretches you can do with the magic circle wherever your summer travels take you. In this post, we’ll look at a few fantastic exercises that will challenge your abs, tone your inner thighs, and keep you centered this summer.

Seated Legs
For this first exercise, you will need your magic circle and a chair. Sit at the edge of the chair with the magic circle between your inner thighs. First, activate the pelvic floor by scooping your abdominals, pulling them in and up. Breathe deeply into your sides and back. Keep your pelvic floor and abdominals active as you use your inner thighs to squeeze the circle. Hold for 5 seconds, then release. Do 8-10 reps.

 

Hundreds Squeeze
Hundreds Squeeze is similar to Seated Legs, but instead of sitting you’ll lay on your back with your legs in a tabletop position. Activate your pelvic floor and scoop in your abs. Breathe deeply into your sides and back. Keeping your pelvic floor and abdominals active, exhale and curl your chin forward until you can see your bellybutton as you use your inner thighs to squeeze the circle.  Hold this position for 5 seconds and then release your inner thighs and lower down to the ground. Repeat these steps 8-10 times.

Standing Leg Press
The final movement is Standing Leg Press. Place the padded sides of the Pilates ring just above your anklebones. Adjust your leg position to the width of the ring. Keep excellent posture. Pull up through your middle and engage your inner thighs, drawing them in toward the midline of your body as you shift your weight onto one foot. Find your balance. Squeeze the ring in and release slowly 3 times. With control, return to standing on both feet while maintaining your posture, then shift to the other foot. Repeat the press 3 more times, then do 4 more sets.

Tip: Stand up straight; if you lean forward it throws the energy into the front of the leg and you miss the engagement of the glutes (think butt toning) and core-stabilizing abdominal and back muscles.

For more exercises you can do at home with the magic circle, check out our last post called “Using the Magic Circle at Home.”