The best Pilates ring
Pilates rings are often referred to as the heart and soul of Pilates practice. They're incorporated into over half of all Pilates exercises, so if you plan on practicing at home, you'll need one for a full experience. Pilates rings are manipulated to build strength through resistance and balance. With a paced, dedicated practice, you'll begin to see and feel results -- and experience a total body workout each time.
Take a look at our shopping guide to choose the best Pilates ring for home practice. Our product recommendations give a definitive overview of what to look for, including our top pick by Balanced Body, which delivers a studio-style experience for beginners and seasoned students alike.
Considerations when choosing Pilates rings
Pilates rings are versatile enough for all levels of Pilates students, from beginners through advanced practitioners. With that said, some styles and sizes are more accommodating to certain levels than others.
The main style differences in Pilates rings involve their material, which is generally metal or plastic. Metal rings are heavier and sturdier, so they're most likely the ones you've used in a formal studio setting. Plastic rings, also occasionally used in studios, tend to be lighter and more pliable.
Pilates rings also differ in size, which ranges between 12 and 16 inches. Smaller rings, particularly the 12- and 13-inch styles, are often referred to as mini rings. When choosing a size, some brands recommend a height and weight chart to find your ideal Pilates ring.
It also depends on which part of the body you intend to use your ring for. Smaller rings are perfect for concentrated upper-body or thigh workouts, whereas larger rings work better for the lower legs. Some people purchase rings in more than one size to maximize their Pilates practice or stick to a single ring and simply modify exercises.
Padding: To provide a secure grip, Pilates rings are equipped with opposing sides of foam, padding, or rubber. They also provide traction so they don't slide down your yoga pants and are soft enough to avoid cutting you during a firm hold.
Tension: Pilates rings have different degrees of tension. Solid metal rings provide the highest degree of resistance, whereas plastic rings tend to be more pliable and flexible.
Weight: The more advanced you are in your Pilates training, the heavier you'll want your ring to be. The added challenge of weight requires more balance and strength to properly execute movements. Beginners without formal Pilates training fare best with lightweight plastic rings while they get used to Pilates movements.
Pilates ring prices
Pilates rings run between $15 and $40, which usually depends on a combination of brand name and tension style. Lesser-known brands made of plastic with a high degree of flexibility are at the low end of the range. If you're an advanced Pilates student, spending closer to $40 will give you a studio-quality ring made of metal or high-quality plastic.
Q. Is it possible to break my Pilates ring?
A. Yes, and despite their tensile strength, they require proper care. Metal rings could end up permanently warped if stuffed in a space that's too small. Plastic rings, if pulled apart or pressed too far inward, could break after extended use.
Q. Where should I practice Pilates at home?
A. Even surfaces, particularly hardwood floors, are ideal for Pilates. The room itself should have plenty of space to accommodate sweeping leg and arm movements. It's also recommended to use a mat to cushion your connection with the floor.
Pilates rings we recommend
Best of the best: Balanced Body Ultrafit Circle
Our take: Premium pilates ring ideal for experienced students who want to replicate studio practice at home.
What we like: All-around comfortable ring with padded handles as well as an instructional DVD that explains proper technique.
What we dislike: Expensive when compared to other models. Feels too heavy for inexperienced students.
Best bang for your buck: ProBody Pilates Ring
Our take: Affordable and flexible ring that is lightweight and easy to manipulate for beginners.
What we like: Impressive level of comfort through pads. High degree of flexibility that is perfect for thigh and glute-targeted exercises.
What we dislike: No instructions or tutorials included with packaging.
Choice 3: Yogalo Pilates Series 14" Pilates Ring
Our take: Comfortable ring that comes with an educational online community.
What we like: Featuring 360-degree foam handles, it makes any grip and every exercise comfortable and manageable.
What we dislike: Could be too flexible for advanced Pilates practice.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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