Straight arms press with the magic circle will tone your arms, back, shoulders and chest. As you do this exercise, you will engage your abdominals as well. Straight arm press with the circle is a good example of putting your core strength to work as you use your core muscles to stabilize your trunk, freeing up the arms to do the exercise.If you don't have a magic circle, you may want to read Before you Buy a Pilates Magic Circle.
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- Set Your Posture
Stand tall in Pilates stance with your heels together, toes sightly turned out.
Your head is reaching for the sky, your shoulders are down, and your tailbone is dropping straight down toward the floor.
Center your weight over the middle of your feet, then extend your body slightly forward.
- Position the Magic Circle
Placing the palms of your hands on the outside pads of the circle, use slight pressure to keep the circle in place as you extend your arms straight out at chest height.
Do not release your shoulders forward or allow them to hunch up. Your shoulders and shoulder blades stay settled in your back.
Do not allow your ribs to pop forward.
- Pump the Circle
With firm pressure, squeeze the circle inwards and pulse it firmly. The object is not to crush the circle, but to use a controlled press and release.
Do 3 pulses on an inhale and 3 pulses on an exhale.
Start with 5 sets. Work your way up to 10.
- To Reduce the Challenge: You can do straight arms while sitting.
Lowering the ring to hip level is easier on the neck and shoulders.
- To Add Challenge: Try straight arms kneeling. This will further challenge your core to keep your balance. Be sure to keep your alignment -- knee to ear.
Raising the arms above the head at a 45-degree angle will also add challenge. If you do raise the arms, you must keep your shoulders and ribs down.
- Breathe! This is a great opportunity to make sure that your breath is expanding evenly throughout your ribcage and all the way into the pelvic bowl.
- It is important to keep the abdominals pulled in and up throughout the exercise. Core stabilization is key to allowing the rest of the body, in this case the shoulders and arms, move efficiently.
What You Need
- A Magic Circle aka: exercise circle, workout ring, power circle etc...