Home Circuit Workout with Ball, Band, and Pilates Ring

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Circuit Routine for Home Workouts with Pilates Ring, Band, and Ball

Woman stretching on exercise ball
Cultura RM/Nancy Honey/Collection Mix: Subjects/Getty Images

Make your workouts at home interesting and effective with this Pilates circuit routine using the exercise ball, resistance band, and Pilates ring. This full-body sequence of Pilates exercises will engage your core and focus on leg and arm toning exercises as well.

If you do not have one or more of the pieces of equipment used, alternatives for each exercise are given. Learn more about the equipment:

Each exercise is presented with brief instructions. If you are not familiar with an exercise, be sure to click on the links to detailed instructions that are at the bottom of every page.
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Warm Up - Palm Press with Pilates Ring

(c)Marie Monahan

Warm up your core with full breathing and gentle engagement of the pelvic floor, abdominal, upper back and chest muscles.

Sit tall, legs crossed. If this is an uncomfortable position, you can sit on a small pillow or folded towel.

With the Pilates ring in front of you, put both palms flat on the top hand-pad. Inhale.

Exhale and use the exhale to help you engage the pelvic floor and pull the abdominal muscles in as you press down on the Pilates ring.

Inhale to release the ring with control.

Repeat 5 times.

No ring? Do diaphragmatic breathing.

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Roll Up with Pilates Ring

Kolesar Studios

Lie on your back with your legs straight.

With your hands on either side of the ring, raise your arms straight up from the shoulders so the ring is parallel to the ceiling.

Take a deep inhale.

Exhale: Keep your ribs down and let your shoulder blades slide down your back as you take the ring overhead.

Inhale: Bring your arms and ring forward as you nod your head down and begin to curl your upper body off the floor.

Exhale: Continue to roll up pressing the sides of the ring as you go. Roll all the way up, vertebra by vertebra until you are seated with your belly deeply scooped and your arms and ring are reaching out over your shins.

Inhale to begin to roll down. Start the roll down with the lower abs, just behind the pubic bone.

Exhale: Roll all the way down with control. Slowly release the ring as you roll.

Finish with the ring overhead.

Roll up 2 more times. You can modify roll with ring by keeping the legs bent, feet on the floor.

Get very detailed instructions for this exercise

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Leg Bend and Stretch with the Resistance Band

(c)About.com

On your back, bring your legs in toward your chest and put the resistance band around the soles of your feet. Put your feet in a Pilates V so your heels are together and your toes slightly apart.

Hold the band so that your forearms are at a right angle to the floor and the backs of your shoulders and upper arms press lightly into the floor.

Inhale.

Exhale: You need core control here so engage your abdominal muscles as you extend your legs out at a 45 degree angle. Higher is easier, lower is advanced.

Inhale to fold the hips and knees and return to start position. Do this with control and a sense of engagement with the resistance band.

Repeat the exercise 5 more times.

Variations: Add an upper body curl. If you know the Pilates footwork sequence, you can do parallel feet and heels as well.

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Single Leg Circle Exercise with Resistance Band

Kolesar Studios

Lie on your back with legs together and extended.

Bring one leg in toward your chest and put the resistance band around your foot.

Extend that leg toward the ceiling. Your knee can be slightly bent.

Open your chest and have your shoulders away from your ears.

You will make small circles with your outstretched leg using your abdominal muscles to maintain stability in the rest of your body so only the leg moves in the hip socket -

Inhale: Cross the leg over the midline of the body, arc it downward.

Exhale: Continue the arc sweeping the leg out to the side, completing the circle by bringing the leg back to center.

5 circles each direction then change legs.

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Bicep Curl with Resistance Band

(c)Lisa Hubbard, licensed to About.com

This is an arm exercise that works your abdominal muscles as well. Wrap the resistance band around your feet.

Sit up tall with your feet flexed.

Roll back with a deep scoop of the abdominal muscles so that your low back is on the mat and your upper body is curled off.

Hold the upper body curl. Arms are at a right angle, upper arms parallel to the floor.

Inhale: Extend the arms

Exhale: Arms to start position

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Bridge on the Ball

(c)About.com

Lie on your back in neutral spine with your lower legs on the exercise ball. Knees slightly bent. Feet flexed.

Your arms are along your sides, pressed into the mat.

Inhale.

Exhale: Send energy through your heels as you straighten your legs and lift your hips until your heels, hips, and shoulders are in one long line.

Hold and breathe for 10 seconds.

Inhale: Use your abdominal muscles to control the roll down. Soften your knees.

Repeat 5 times.

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Plank to Push Up on the Exercise Ball

Getty Images

Kneel with the exercise ball in front of your hips. Then take your body over the ball, walking your hands out until you are in a plank position. The further out you go, the harder the exercise.

Check points:

  • Your arms are straight, elbows not locked.
  • Your wrists are under your shoulders.
  • Your belly is lifted.
  • Your legs are together and lifted.
  • Your body is in one, long line.

Hold and breathe for 20 - 30 seconds. Repeat.

Extra credit: Do 5 push ups -- Pilates style with the elbows close to the body.

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Chest Lift with Rotation on the Exercise Ball

Getty Images

Sit on the ball.

Roll your hips under and walk your feet out until your mid-back is well supported by the ball. Your knees are bent at a right angle and your legs and feet are parallel.

You are in a slight upper body curl. Place your hands behind your head. Elbows wide. Shoulders down.

Inhale. Exhale: Extend your upper back until your torso is in a long line.

Inhale: Do an upper body curl.

Exhale: Turn your ribcage and head to the right. Keep your head in line with your sternum.

Inhale: Stay curled up, return to center.

Exhale: Extend your upper body.

5 Times each side, alternating.

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Side Leg Press with Pilates Ring

Getty Images

Lie on your side with the Pilates ring upright between your ankles, above the ankle bone. You can lay out flat with your arm under your head, or prop up on your forearm. The top hand is on the floor for support.

Your legs are a little in front of your hips and your hips and shoulders are stacked vertically as if your torso was between two panes of glass.

Inhale.

Exhale: Lengthen through your inner thighs and press down on the Pilates ring.

Inhale: Control the release of the ring.

Repeat 5 times each side.​

Get detailed instructions for side leg press with ring

No Pilates ring? ​Do inner thigh lifts on the mat.

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Open Legs Balance with Pilates Ring

Getty Images

Sit upright and place the Pilates ring between your ankles.

Have your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

Lean back slightly and use your abdominal muscles to lift your knees toward your shoulders.
Your legs will come off the floor so your shins are parallel to the floor and the Pilates ring is upright.

Keep your knees at the same height as you extend your lower legs until your legs are straight. Your hands rest lightly behind your thighs or lower legs.

Hold and breathe, gently squeezing the ring, for 10 to 20 seconds.

Release and Repeat twice more.

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Relaxing Stretch On the Ball and More Exercises

courtesy of Pam Harrington

Good Workout! You deserve a stretch. This relaxing stretch on the exercise ball feels especially good to the abs and hip flexors.

Sit on the ball. Then walk yourself out as your roll down. Keep going until your back is draped over the ball.

Your hands can be on your thighs, or to make the stretch more intense, let them be overhead as shown.

If this stretch doesn't feel good, or you want to stretch your back, try child's pose on the mat.

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