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A Pilates exercise program is an exercise routine that had its beginnings with a World War I nurse in England. German born Joseph Pilates was a sickly child that suffered from asthma which prevented him from being active during his childhood. Eventually he regained his strength and was able to participate in sports and become very robust in his health.
Pilates is an exercise program that was developed for returning soldiers who were physically immobilized because of injuries suffered during the war. Joseph H. Pilates developed this exercise program drawing from yoga and martial arts.
Like any good exercise program, there is a resistance component built into the Pilates exercise regimen. There are two methods of providing this resistance needed that are associated with the Pilates. The first form of resistance is gained by using the body’s weight. The second form of resistance is through Pilates exercise equipment. One such piece of equipment that provides this resistance is the Pilates circle.
Description of the Pilates Circle
The Pilates circle is in the shape of a large zero. There are a variety of materials that can be used to manufacture the Pilates circle. Basically, however, the exterior of the circle is made from flexible plastic. Within the circular plastic tubing is flexible sprung steel. This flexible steel provides enough tension so that the user will benefit from the resistance that it provides.
In addition the Pilates circle is generally constructed with handles that provide easy grasp of the circle when conducting the exercises.
How it is Used
The Pilates circle is designed to be easily used. This allows for the Pilates participant to be seated, standing or reclining. Because of the ease of use, the individual can use this resistance piece of equipment when lying on their back, stomach or on either side of the body. The resistance is provided by exerting pressure on the outside of the ring inward or on the inside of the ring outward.
Various parts of the body can benefit from the Pilates circle. For example, if placed between the legs, the legs can be pushed together. This resistance can benefit the leg muscles as well as the muscles of the abdomen. Or, by grasping both handles, the Pilates circle can be push inward. This resistance will strengthen the muscles of the chest.
Effects on the Body
There are many positive effects that will be experienced by the body when using the Pilates circle. Those particular benefits include the toning of the body’s muscles such as found in the upper arms, muscles of the thighs and chest muscles.
In addition, in keeping with the philosophy of Pilates, a connection will be made to other parts of the body. Those connections include the connectivity with the mind and the nervous system.