10 Super Effective Yoga Ring Exercises For A Full Body Workout

yoga ring exercises

Wanna have a strong core? Or a tight booty? Or thighs of steel, maybe?

A yoga ring might be just the fitness tool you need!          

While a yoga ring / Pilates ring / magic circle might look like a mini hula-hoop, this versatile piece of fitness equipment can be a great way to mix up your fitness routine, fire up those hard-to-activate muscle groups, and challenge your muscles in a whole new way.

So if you’ve ever seen a yoga ring lying around in your gym but have no clue how to incorporate it into your workout sessions, we’re here to help.

In this blog, we’ll share with you a few of the best yoga ring exercises/Pilates ring exercises that’ll sculpt your body from head to toe!

Let’s get this show on the road!

What is a Yoga ring?

A Yoga ring (a.k.a Pilates ring, fitness circle, or magic circle) is a circular yoga prop that is used to add resistance, provide support, improve flexibility, and build lean muscle. It is typically made of a lightweight, durable material such as rubber or metal, with padded handles on each side. The handles make it convenient to hold the yoga ring between your ankles, knees, thighs, etc.

yoga ring exercises

The Pilates ring is great for working muscles that might be a bit tricky to hit with just your body weight including your arms, thighs, chest, back, hips, core, etc.

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How to use a Pilates Ring?

Here are some tips on how to use the yoga ring with proper form.

1. Engage your core

Keep your abs and lower back engaged throughout the yoga ring exercises. This helps stabilize your spine and protect your lower back.

2. Control Your Movements

Squeeze and release the yoga ring in a slow and controlled manner. Using momentum to release the ring reduces the effectiveness of the Pilates ring exercise and increases the risk of injury.

pilates ring exercises

3. Focus on breathing

Inhale as you prepare for the movement and exhale as you exert effort. Breathing helps you maintain proper control and engage your core muscles.

4. Squeeze it right

Depending on the type of exercise, adjust the resistance by either squeezing the yoga circle ring gently or hard. Just choose a level of resistance that challenges you but doesn’t strain your muscles.

yoga ring how to use

5. Be careful of your joints and bones

DO NOT place the yoga ring’s pads on your joints or bones.

For instance, to work your inner thighs, place the ring between your inner thigh muscles and not directly between your knees. Or to work your back (lat) muscles, place the Pilates ring just below your hip bone. This ensures that you’re hitting the right muscle groups and not wasting effort.

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Benefits of using a Yoga Ring

1. Better Body Awareness

As a beginner, it can be tricky to get your form right in certain Pilates exercises. A yoga ring can help improve your body awareness by giving you self-feedback during each exercise rep that helps you automatically correct your form.

Studies also show that using the Pilates ring increases your confidence to perform the exercises more effectively.

2. Great for the elderly

If you’re an elderly person or just recovering from an injury, the yoga ring is a great way to get your strength training in without all the heavy lifting.

Research also suggests that elderly women who regularly used the Pilates ring showed an improvement in their balance and a lower frequency of falls.

3. Strengthens the pelvic floor muscles

A 2022 study published in the Indian Journal of Physical Therapy and Research shows that doing Pilates exercises with a Pilates ring is an effective way to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and thus reduce urinary incontinence in women.

4. Fires up your core

In almost every exercise that you do with a Pilates ring, you’ll notice that your core has to be constantly engaged. And a strong core means better posture, balance, stability, and so on.

yoga ring for back

5. Portable and affordable

Best thing about a yoga ring? You don’t have to break the bank to buy yourself one!

Add to that the fact that it is lightweight and space-efficient, and you got a killer workout tool that you can carry wherever you go!

10 Best Yoga Ring Exercises

Whether you’re looking for yoga ring exercises for the back or yoga ring exercises for the legs, we’ve got you covered!

1. Inner thigh squeeze

Tighten and tone your inner thighs with this amazing yoga ring exercise!

Muscles worked: Inner thigh muscles, glutes.

  • Lie on your back with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Place the yoga ring between your thighs, just above the knees.
  • Lightly press into the ring so that your knees are hip-width apart.
  • Engage your core, exhale, and squeeze your inner thighs together as much as you can.
  • Pause for a second, and then relax your thighs as you inhale.
  • Repeat for around 15 reps.

 2. Shoulder bridge

This Pilates ring exercise is sure to give your glutes and hamstrings a hard-core workout!

Muscles worked: Glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, abs.

  • Start by sitting on a mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Place a ring for yoga at one end of the mat.
  • Lift your right leg and position the back of your right ankle on the pad of the yoga ring. Your left knee will remain in the original position.
  • Lie down, exhale, and push your hips off the floor by a few inches.
  • Once your hips are in a stable position, press your right foot down on the Pilates ring for a second and then release.
  • Keep pulsing your right leg like this for around 5-10 reps and then switch sides.


Ensure that your hips are stationary throughout the movement.

3. Inner thigh squeeze (ankle variation)

One of the best yoga ring exercises to strengthen your adductors.

Muscles worked: Inner thigh muscles, glutes.

  • Sit on a mat in a side-lying position.
  • Place a Pilates ring right above your right ankle.
  • Place the inner side of your left ankle on the other padded handle of the yoga ring.
  • Lie down and use your right arm to support your head as you’re in the side-lying position.
  • Now lift your legs and stretch them straight out.
  • Rotate your legs so that your heels are facing inwards towards each other and your toes are facing out.
  • Engage your core, and press the ring as hard as you can between your ankles.
  • Hold for 3-4 seconds and then slowly release.
  • Repeat for 8-10 reps.

4. Clamshells

One of the top Pilates ring exercises for the medial glutes, clamshells help enhance hip stability.

Muscles worked: Outer thigh muscles, inner thighs muscles, glutes.

  • Lie on a mat in a side-lying position on your right side using your right arm to support you.
  • Put both your legs through a Pilates ring and position the ring just above your knees.
  • Keep your feet together and down and your knees bent at a 45-degree angle.
  • Now press your left leg against the ring as if you were trying to open up the ring a little.
  • Hold for a second and then lower the leg down.
  • Repeat for 8-10 reps and then switch sides.

5. Biceps press

No dumbbells? No problem! This yoga ring exercise is great for sculpting your biceps.

Muscles worked: Biceps

  • Stand with your feet a few inches apart.
  • Take a yoga ring and position one padded handle on your right shoulder girdle area.
  • Place your right palm on the other padded handle and your left arm on your hip.
  • Now press down on the handle with your right palm.
  • Pause for a second, feel the contraction in your biceps, and then release.
  • Repeat for 10-15 reps.


You could also do tiny pulses where you press down on the handle and release quickly. Do this around 10 times.

6. Lats press        

Give your back some much-needed love with this awesome Pilates ring exercise.

Muscles worked: Lats.

  • Stand with your feet a few inches apart.
  • Take a yoga ring and position one padded handle just below the bony part of your hip on the right side.
  • Place your right palm against the other padded handle and your left arm on your hip.
  • Now press against the handle with your right palm.
  • Pause for a second while squeezing your lats and then release.
  • Repeat for 10-15 reps.

7. Hamstring press

Your hamstrings are sure to feel the burn with this seemingly easy-looking yoga ring exercise.

Muscles worked: Hamstrings

  • Lie down on a mat on your belly.
  • Position one padded handle of the Pilates ring right beneath your left glute.
  • Lift your left leg and position the other padded handle behind your left ankle.
  • Exhale and press your ankle against the ring and feel the contraction in your hamstrings.
  • Pause for a few seconds, inhale, and then release.
  • Repeat for 10-15 reps.

8. Hundreds

This staple Pilates ring exercise boosts your mobility and flexibility, amps up your core strength, improves your posture and so much more.

Muscles worked: Abs, obliques, pelvic floor muscles, quadriceps, hip flexors.

  • Get on a mat in a seated position and place the Pilates ring between both your ankles.
  • Point your feet downward.
  • Lift through your spine, and then round through your back and slowly let your back rest on the floor, while your head, neck, and shoulders are off the floor while bringing your legs to the tabletop position.
  • Straighten your arms so that they are by your sides with your palms facing the floor.
  • Extend your legs out at a 45-degree angle.
  • Inhale and exhale and then begin pumping your arms from your shoulders up and down quickly for 10 rounds of breath. Keep inhaling and exhaling loudly throughout the movement.

9. Double leg stretch

An excellent yoga ring exercise for improving your abdominal strength.

Muscles worked: Abs, obliques.

  • Lie on a mat with your feet raised such that your lower legs and upper legs are at right angles to each other.
  • With your arms stretched above you, hold a yoga ring between both your palms.
  • Lift your head, shoulders, and neck off the floor and position the yoga ring above your knees. This is the starting position.
  • Now inhale and stretch your arms out behind you and your legs out in front of you.
  • Exhale and bring your arms and legs back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 10-15 reps.

10. Chest lift

One of the top Pilates ring exercises to strengthen your abs and adductors.

Muscles worked: Inner thigh muscles, abs.                                                      

  • Lie down on a mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Place the yoga ring between your thighs just above your knees.
  • Interlace your fingers and cradle the back of your head, with your elbows off the floor.
  • As you exhale, squeeze your thighs together, engage your core, and lift your chest slowly off the ground.
  • Hold for a few seconds as you inhale.
  • Now exhale and lower your body back to the ground and bring your thighs back out.
  • Repeat for 10-15 reps.

Frequently asked questions

1. What is the price of a yoga ring?

The price of a yoga ring would vary based on factors such as brand, quality, material, and where you purchase it. On average, a Pilates ring could range from approximately INR 300 to INR 1500 or more, depending on these factors.

For a premium-quality yoga ring like the one at Burnlab, the yoga ring price would vary between INR 600 and INR 1000.

2. How often can you use a yoga ring?

Although it is safe to do Pilates ring exercises every day, here are a few guidelines for usage depending on your fitness levels.

Beginners. Start with 2-3 sessions per week to allow your body to adapt to the Pilates ring exercises and prevent overtraining.

Intermediate. Aim for 3-4 sessions per week if you have some prior experience in Pilates or other fitness activities. This will help you see some good strength gains.

Advanced. You could use the yoga circle ring 4-5 times a week.

Rehabilitation. Using the yoga stretch ring to recover from an injury? Stick to using it 2-3 times a week or as advised by your physician.

3. How long should my Pilates ring exercise be?

You can exercise with a Pilates ring for anywhere between 15 and 60 minutes. Here are a few guidelines for how long you should exercise with a Pilates ring depending on your fitness level.

Beginners. Aim for shorter sessions that are around 15-25 minutes long to give your body time to adjust and adapt to the magic circle.

Intermediate: Try using the ring for around 30-40 minutes to incorporate a variety of exercises and target the desired muscle groups.

Advanced: Your sessions can range from 45 minutes to an hour.


Whether you want to add some resistance to your exercises, get into a deeper stretch, or get some support for those hard-to-nail moves, the yoga ring can be your BFF.

So, pick up a fitness circle now and watch the magic unfold!

Which of these yoga ring exercises is your fav? Let us know in the comments below!

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