The 10 Best Pilates Rings In 2023, Per Certified Trainers
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The 10 Best Pilates Rings In 2023, Per Certified Trainers

Aug 06, 2023

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If this year could be defined by one exercise, I'd say it's safe to call it the year of Pilates.

The low-impact workout has probably popped up on your social media feed at least once or twice in the past few months, and it's a great way to stay fit at home if you don't have access to a gym.

And if you're a Pilates fan, you've probably already heard of, or even own, a Pilates ring. Commonly referred to as a "magic circle," this piece of equipment is basically a structured, circular resistance band.

They're super easy to use anywhere, and are a lot more affordable than snagging an entire reformer for your home gym. Plus, they can level-up just about any Pilates exercises.

Surprise! Pilates rings can be used for just about any workout.

"You really can't go wrong with them," says Amanda Blauer, certified Pilates instructor. Their main M.O., though, is to hike up the resistance. "They can be used in so many different ways," says Alysia Pope Ehret, a certified Pilates instructor. "They add resistance, which make your muscles work harder, and create instability, allowing you to engage your core." As Ehret puts it, your core is the "powerhouse" of any Pilates workout, and a ring allows you to specifically target it.

Hundreds of moves can be intensified with help from a Pilates ring, Blauer says. A workout both instructors like? Inner thigh squeezes. During this move, place the ring between your thighs or ankles and squeeze them together. You can do this in a bridge pose, suggests Blauer, or on your side with your legs up in a sideways "V" shape, Ehret suggests.

You can also hold the ring while doing core-strengthening hundreds or to support a Pilates push-up. For this move, place the ring between your chest and the mat, says Ehret.

It's time to amp-up your workouts with the 10 best Pilates rings and bands, which can be used during any type of at-home or gym exercise.

This ProBody Pilates ring is great for people new to the world of Pilates rings or circles. It's also the brand that both Ehret and Blauer use for their own at-home workouts. If you don't know how to use one, don't fret. The ring comes with a sheet of helpful exercises to get you started on your fitness journey. As an added bonus, several reviews say it comes in handy for at-home stretching and physical therapy.

Rave Review: "This ring has been very useful for home therapy after my hip replacement surgery and before my next hip replacement surgery. It comes with an instruction sheet for alternative exercises, which has been helpful. I'm very pleased with the product."

If you're a seasoned Pilates fan, this Trideer option has the perfect amount of tension, so it's awesome for adding a little more challenge to your everyday workouts. Its non-slip handles are great for using it between your arms or legs. Plus, it's super lightweight, so it's easy to use and bring along with you to the gym.

Rave Review: "The little grips are the perfect size for when I have to position the ring between my ankles. I love how sturdy yet lightweight it is. It’s been a great addition to my workout gear!"

This set will totally upgrade your Pilates practice. The ring is flexible with foam padding to ensure maximum comfort throughout your workout. Also included in the package: a Pilates ball, yoga strap, workout guide, gym bag, grip socks, and resistance bands. For all of this, the price really can't be beat.

Rave Review: "This set is one my most satisfying purchases on Amazon. All of the equipment is made with high-quality materials and odor-free latex. I have been using this set for my daily Pilates and yoga workout over the past three weeks. The resistance loop band doesn’t curl easily and it’s perfect for lower body exercise."

When something isn't broken, don't fix it—and the same goes for the original Pilates ring (also known as the "magic circle"), which was designed by founder of Pilates, Joseph Pilates. Like the OG, This Balanced Body option is made with steel, but it has a luxury upgrade with a rubberized coating and a slender handle design.

It's designed for a variety of exercises, but the brand claims that it's most efficient in toning and slimming down the waist, arms, and legs.

Rave Review: "I use these rings in my Pilates classes and the gym members love them! This ring is sturdy and a challenge. It's not like the flimsy cheaper ones on the market. This is high-quality equipment that will last forever. I use this ring personally and recommend my students buy this brand."

If your Pilates practice is mainly focused on stretching out your body rather than sculpting it, these Emboring rings—they come in both a hard and soft material—are perfect to open up your tight muscles. They're designed to fit the curve of the body, so you can use them for pressure point massages, recovery, and stretching. (Take a look at the pictures on Amazon for more tips!) Reviewers say these rings were so effective, they noticed pain relief after just a few uses.

Rave Review: "After doing stretches and massages, these rings instantly make my body feel refreshed. I used to use body foam rollers to massage my body, but I think these Emborings are a lot better. Overall, I am very happy with them and love the eco-friendly packaging."

Don't let the simplicity of this ring fool you. It's one of the most highly-rated options on this list. (It legit has a full five stars.) The common consensus among reviewers: The padded foam handles are super soft. At 14.5 inches in diameter, it's a bit wider than other Pilates rings, which means it has added resistance. Say "hello" to your strongest muscles yet.

Rave Review: "This Pilates ring is great for my workouts. It gives me the resistance I want, and the handles never cut into my hands. It's five stars by me."

The Wundacore takes what a traditional Pilates ring would provide and turns up the heat. Its figure eight-like design and super strong tension stimulates the smaller muscles responsible for your posture and core strength. Because it's smaller than most rings, it's also great for squat workouts.

Rave Review: "The Wundacore takes your workout in studio or at home to the next level. I’ll never use a magic ring again! The design really activates your core like no other!"

With over 1,000 ratings and 700 five-star reviews, this Gaiam Pilates ring is an Amazon bestseller, and there's no question as to why. It has durable, non-slip foam handles, a downloadable exercise guide, and it's super lightweight and durable. Best of all, you get all these perks for a seriously low price without slacking on quality.

Rave Review: "Good quality for the money. It only comes with the ring, but I have used it for a while now and it feels newer and better than when I first got it. Perfect for simple at-home Pilates workouts."

Over time, Pilates rings tends to weaken, but this Weaseu version is designed with longevity in mind. Made with fiberglass, the ring is super bendable without breaking, snapping, or cracking. It also has anti-slip handles with cushioned rubber pads, so it's easy to grip.

Rave Review: "I recently got into Pilates. My body responds well to lower impact exercises, but I love weights. This provides resistance that feels similar to weight training, using your own weight and the resistance of the hoop."

Yes4all created a multi-functional ring that's great for both Pilates and weight training. It weighs a solid 10 lbs, so you can use it for curls and weighted squats, or you can squeeze it between your legs, ankles, etc for a resistance workout. It's also much less bulky than other options on this list as it doesn't have any handles.

Rave Review: "I have wrist issues from work, so holding a heavy weight is something I try to avoid. This makes it easier to distribute the weight and it isn't uncomfortable to rest on your shoulders when doing squats"

For the past month, WH editorial assistant Olivia Evans has been investigating the best Pilates rings to shop online. Our team consulted Pilates instructors Alysia Pope Ehret, founder of Purely Pope, and Amanda Blauer, certified Pilates instructor, to find the best Pilates rings for every preference and how to use them.

Olivia Evans (she/her) is an editorial assistant at Women’s Health. Her work has previously appeared in The Cut and Teen Vogue. She loves covering topics where culture and wellness intersect. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, running, and watching rom-coms.

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