To say that pilates is an “intimidating practice” would be an understatement if we’ve ever heard one. Through low-impact movements, each session works to tone and strengthen your core, improve your flexibility and torch major calories. In other words, pilates is going to put your body weight to work in ways you’ve never imagined possible. But for anyone brand new to the practice, props like toning balls and cords can play a significant role in getting you accustomed to this level of muscle work. If you’re having trouble finding your center, however, rings for pilates, also called “magic circles,” are the most essential tool.

Reports show that the first “magic ring” was actually invented by none other than Joseph Pilates himself. The story goes that Pilates constructed the prop from the metal ring around a beer keg — how’s that for being resourceful?  Since then, rings have become one of the most popular pilates props to date. They offer low to moderate resistance, help to strengthen your muscles, improve your alignment, balance and overall posture. 

When it comes to purchasing the best pilates ring for your practice, there are a few things to keep in mind: First, the materials. Rings for pilates are generally made using either metal or rubber. Both are flexible, but rubber is almost too malleable, so if you’re looking for optimal stability, seasoned pilates practitioners recommend sticking with a metal ring. Second, pilates rings come in different sizes, with loops ranging from 12 to 16 inches wide. Choose according to the height and weight chart recommendations by the manufacturer, and get ready to take your practice to the next level with these picks. 

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