Pilates Magic Circle Workout (1998)

Posted: April 20, 2011 in DVD Reviews
Great news! I got my official “You successfully passed your AFAA Group Exercise Certification exam!” letter in the mail. Woohoo! Victory. Now I can start putting myself out there to local gyms to get on the sub list… and even start teaching my own classes 🙂
Today’s post is another DVD-equipment combo. The Pilates Magic Circle. I took a Pilates class at a local gym/rehab center that my personal trainer works at (woo Marcia!) and we used a band and Pilates Magic Circle. I had never used one of those circular contraptions before, (well, not for Pilates, I did for my ACL physical therapy) but I’d seen them used and heard of their benefits. After using it in class, I was hooked! Not only is it harder to do each move, but you feel the effects faster and everywhere. And it can be used as a great stretching aide – something a very inflexible person such as myself appreciated! So when I found thePilates Magic Circleon Meijer.com with a DVD and free shipping, I was sold.

(Sorry… the image won’t work 😦 )

Where I Got This DVD: Bought it from Meijer.com – free shipping! (They do sell a cheaper, not as good-quality version at the actual Meijer store for $10 – it’s purple)Length: Approx. 23 mins. (the workout itself is around 18 mins.)
Workouts: 16 Stand Alone Exercises; 3 on the Premier (called a Pilates Reformer these days); and 11 Mat Exercises
Instructor: I didn’t catch her name… it’s something foreign-y

Note: A table of contents gives a quick run-down of which moves will be performed in each segment. Moves are also named in the bottom left-hand corner with rep count in the top left-hand corner.

Stand Alone Exercises:

    • Interesting exercises – use Circle against chin, head, hip, stomach, and feet
    • Some good arm, leg, and balance-challenging moves

Premier (Reformer) Exercises:

    • Since this is a machine used mostly in Pilates studios, I don’t have one, so I did the workout without the reformer, or you can simply fast-forward to the mat exercises because she repeats them there

Mat Exercises:

    • You repeat the same 3 moves from the premier segment on the mat
    • Usual Pilates moves: roll-overs, hundreds, side leg pumps, roll-up, swimming
    • The moves are more difficult to do using the Circle – when you squeeze the Circle between your ankles AND do the move, you feel it everywhere

Instructor: She had a very calm, soothing voice and explained every movement. She went a little quickly, but was a good instructor.
Moves: Classic Pilates moves – roll-ups, roll-overs, side leg pumps, hundreds, swimming
Best Workout: Mat Exercises
Worst: Premier – not realistic, no one has one of these in their home!
Intensity Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Buy It?: If you’re not familiar with Pilates, I wouldn’t suggest this workout. Why? Because she assumes you already know how to perform each move and the Circle is just an addition to make each move more challenging. I’m personally glad I bought it because I like the extra challenge I get from it and how the workout is short yet effective. However, I would recommend becoming comfortable with Pilates before you move on to the Magic Circle.


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