The beauty of Pilates lies in its ability to strengthen our bodies and minds while being gentle, but simultaneously being able to strengthen our muscles.
Besides well known and large props like reformers, Pilates can be practiced with smaller props that can be equally useful. One of those is the ring.
What size Pilates ring do I need is a common question, and it is the most important one. Carefully chosen size and resistance can really improve your practice. Rings come in various sizes, and you need the one that is compatible with your size and strength, as well as the exercises you will perform. Standard size is 14 inches but can be larger or smaller.
Pilates ring can be used in various ways and you can activate different groups of muscles. It is also useful for stretching, and that makes it one of the most popular Pilates props.
This excellent device is suitable for home use due to its small size and using it can really speed-up your body transformation.
Here I will tell you more about how to chose proper size and what other factors you should consider before buying your own ring.
What Sizes Do Pilates Rings Come In?
What size Pilates ring do I need is a common dilemma among beginners and before answering that question, you must know what sizes do Pilates rings come in.
Depending on a manufacturer, you can find various options, but the standard size is a 14-inch diameter. This size is optimal for the majority of users and for majority of exercises.
Of course, there is a smaller option too, and that is 12 or 13 inch ring. These can be used specifically for certain workouts where you need a smaller prop, or for very short people. These can also be used by kids or teenagers who are shorter than average adults.
Besides these two, there are larger options too, and those are 15 or 16 inches. Larger rings are excellent for very tall people with longer extremities, or for certain stretching exercises.
Some brands even have online guides for choosing a size, where you can enter your height, weight and some other info to get a quite for ring size and strength.
What Size Pilates Ring do I Need? [Is It Best?]
So, what size Pilates ring to choose? The answer depends on what you are planning to do with it. If you need one versatile ring that you will use for all exercises, and you have average height, go for 14 inches. One ring is practical to have, but keep in mind that many people have few different sizes and change them for different exercises.
If you plan to use your ring for strengthening your thighs, or upper body, you may want to choose the smaller one. The same goes for very short people.
Larger rings are extremely useful for lower leg exercises and as a stretching “tool”. Of course, having all three sizes would maximize the efficiency, but that may not be very practical. You can also modify exercises to suit the ring size.
If you are still uncertain, you can always ask a certified instructor in a local studio to help you with this decision. It would also be wise to join a few classes to learn how to properly use Pilates rings and get some professional guidance.
Do Pilates Rings Come in Different Resistances?
What size Pilates ring is best for you has been explained, but there is one more question that many beginners frequently ask.
Do Pilates rings come in different resistances?
YES, they do! You can choose among light/soft, medium, and heavy/strong. This feature is also determined by their material. Light ones are mostly made from plastic, while those that have the highest resistance are made from metal.
Beginners with lower fitness level should start with the light ones. These rings have one more advantage, and that is the fact that they are usually cheaper.
As you are making progress and your body gets stronger you can change the ring and get the one with a bit higher resistance.
Unfortunately, these resistances are not standardized, so what is labelled as light by one manufacturer, can be labelled as medium by another.
If you have the opportunity, go to the store, and check out the rig, hold it, try to press it, and see which resistance works for you.
Besides resistance, some rings have different weights. Advanced users most often choose heavier ones.
What To Look for When Buying a Pilates Ring?
Now you know what size Pilates ring to buy, but what else to look for besides resistance and size?
When choosing the best Pilates ring for you, consider the following:
Some of the rings have pads only on the outer part, while some have both on the outer and the inner part. Inner pads enable you to do a variety of exercises with your arms or feet in the ring while pushing outwards. In theory, you could do it without pads, but pads make those exercises comfortable and prevent slipping.
Metal rings last longer, and are more expensive, but most often these rings have heavy resistance and have greater weight. This makes them excellent for advanced users or very athletic people. If you are a complete beginner, go for a plastic one.
All Pilates rings come at a decent price, even the high-end ones. But why spending 40 dollars if you can spend 10? Beginners should buy light plastic rings which are also quite cheap. Don’t worry, they will not break if used properly. But, as you are gaining strength and experience, and when you already know what features you want your ring to have, go for more expensive, studio-grade, ring.
What is the Pilates Ring Good for? [Benefits]
Pilates ring can be used for dozens of different exercises, and this is why it can have so many benefits if used right. Here are the most common ones:
Rings are most often used for exercising inner thighs, upper body (arms and parts of your chest) or lower legs. But, if combined with core exercises, it can significantly impact your core muscles. When using a ring, it creates resistance as you are pushing (or pulling) it and your muscles activate more. This can improve your posture and prevent back pain.
Pilates ring can be used for stretching, to get deeper into certain poses, or to balance out your stands and make your movement more controlled. This also has a direct influence on your overall balance.
RECOVERING FROM INJURIES
Unlike weights, ring is almost harmless, and the possibility of injurie is almost non-existent. It doesn’t offer the possibility of sudden movement under heavy load, so there is no chance that you will pull, push, or twitch in a way that can cause injuries. Free weights are a bit more dangerous. This, of course, doesn’t make the ring any less effective than light weights.
What size Pilates ring do I need is something that many beginners will ask, and the answer depends on your needs, abilities, and budget.
Medium size is excellent for multi-purpose use, while smaller and larger rings can be used for certain exercises when targeting specific muscle groups.
If you really want to commit to ring exercises, maybe you should buy various sizes and resistances. Otherwise, make a decision based on facts stated in this article.