Ab Series with the Magic Circle on the Mat

Adding a prop to your Pilates practice helps to connect deeper to your practice. Then, take the prop away and see if you can maintain those connections.

  • Author: Lesley Logan
  • August 23, 2019
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Ab Series with the Magic Circle on the Mat - Online Pilates Classes
Ab Series with the Magic Circle on the Mat - Online Pilates Classes
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Equipment Needed: Magic Circle, Mat (The magic circle shown in this video is the Ultra-Fit Circle and I love using the Contrology Folding Mat.)
  • Reps: 5-10 each variation
  • Warning: Some variations may not be suitable for neck issues.
  • Questions: Contact us here

Ab Series with the Magic Circle on the Mat

The Series of 5 on the Pilates Mat, aka the Ab Series, is a great set of exercises to never skip! But, sometimes it’s hard to connect to your inner thighs, outer hips, upper back and more! Adding a prop to your Pilates practice is not just to make it harder. It’s actually essential for you to connect deeper to your practice and then for you to take it away and see if you can maintain those connections without the prop being there. In this case, we are using the Magic Circle to find all the different challenges you need to do the Ab Series.

Choose the one you need your body to learn. Then, take the prop away.

There are several ways to use the circle with the abdominal series on the Mat. For Single Leg Stretch on the Mat you can use the circle in your hands and pull it down over your bent knee. Or, make it harder for you to keep your chest up and reach the circle over your head.

Double Leg Stretch you can place the circle in your hands and challenge your upper back connection, between your ankles to connect to your inner thighs or outside your ankles to challenge your seat.

Single Straight Leg Stretch can use the same upper back connections and hold the circle up to the sky and your leg can aim to kick it. Or, place both legs inside and scissor-switch.

Double Straight Leg Stretch easier is to put the circle inside the ankles. Really hard is to go outside the ankles. And a different kind of challenge is in the hands.

Criss Cross you can simply switch side to side holding the circle in your hands. Harder is to put the circle pad on one knee and the other pad on your opposite elbow and then pulse your elbow and knee together.

Don’t do all of these at once. Choose the one you need your body to learn. Then take it away.


Be sure to check out more of my Pilates Mat exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Mat training!

By Lesley Logan

Lesley Logan, NCPT, is the founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com, the first free online catalogue of Pilates exercise tutorial videos, where you can also find weekly online mat classes and workshops. When not teaching from her studio in Los Angeles, Lesley can be found traveling the world leading Pilates retreats, or offering Pilates business coaching to studio owners and other instructors through her private mastermind group. Connect with Lesley on instagram @lesley.logan or through the contact page on this site.

Loving this Pilates exercise tutorial? Take weekly online Pilates mat classes with Lesley Logan.
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SUCH A TEASE

ONLINE MAT & REFORMER PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

Teaser is probably one of the most photographed exercises in Pilates. Which makes people think it's a "peak pose." But, it's anything but! It's simply another layer to your Pilates practice. This week we will acknowledge how each exercise contributes to your ability to do Teaser (someday) and then how Teaser teaches you where to get curious in your practice.

On the Mat we will use light weights for one round of Teaser as they can be helpful for those still adding into their practice.
No props on the Reformer.

See you in class,

xx~LL

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights and a Mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a Reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

UP, UP, & AWAY

ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

We are all going to feel like Super Humans after this month!!

Whenever I’m in a hard exercise (for me) where I’m holding myself up with my arms and reaching my legs away I picture myself with super human strength!!! I can do ANYTHING! It makes me smile and helps me stay STRONG.

This month our exercise is Up Stretch and when you think about it - reaching your legs away and staying strong over the carriage may feel a lot like flying!

We’ll be focusing on stabilizing our strong cores while staying equally balanced in our arms and legs. We are giving you some amazing building blocks by merging strength and stretch in all directions. You are going to get a little bit of everything that you can use to connect to your Up Stretch (and even your Roll Up and Knee Stretches Off).

Chair: Please have a foam roller and a balance pad available. We are going to challenge your balance safely.

xx-LL

STRONGER THAN YESTERDAY

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

It's tempting to focus so much on what we weren't able to do in our workout that day. But, how often are we considering what new connections we had compared to yesterday or the last time we moved? In this week's workout, we are vibing with Britany and focusing on the strength we have today compared to yesterday. And not letting things get in our way!

This week, remember, if you can't do something yet let's replace it with something that you can do!

Props: No specific props. But, please bring anything that you usually use to find your connections!

See ya in class,
xx~LL 💋

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

FROGS & CIRCLES & LONG SPINE, OH MY!

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

What do these three things have in common?

They are great examples of how we can change leg position or the action of our legs to either connect us more to our center or challenge our connection!

In this week’s class, we’ll focus on what happens when our legs are in frog position vs long legs vs making circles with our legs. If something isn’t feeling quite right, we can explore how might we change it slightly to be more connected to our bodies.

Props:
Mat - small ball
Reformer - small ball, wedge, pole

See you in class,
Rachel

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, small ball and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, small ball, wedge, pole and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

    ANCHORS AWEIGH!

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    Anchors Aweigh is often misspelled as Anchors Away! Did you know this? And did you know this - The expression anchors aweigh means all the anchors are clear of the sea bottom, and the ship begins its voyage. So, I actually thought I was being clever when I changed it to Anchors Aweigh because I want to use the 1 lb weights as a prop. Also, I want to use this theme to bring focus and clarity during each exercise about what's not moving vs. what is moving. And really keeping what’s not supposed to move as still and stable as can be. May be harder than you think to do, so let’s have fun with it! Think of it as a game.

    Mat prop: 1 lb weights (water bottles or soup cans as substitutions ) + pole (dowel/broomstick/swiffer as substitutions)
    Reformer prop: 1 lb weights (water bottles or soup cans as substitutions ) + pole (dowel/broomstick/swiffer as substitutions)

    See you in class,

    Christine

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, 1 lb weights, pole and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, 1 lb weights, pole and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

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    Online Mat, Reformer, Cadillac & Wunda Chair Pilates Class Descriptions:

    We’re going to focus on the muscles that help us get up/down to a chair, toilet, in/out of a car, and to the ground without the use of our hands to help.

    As we age, we can lose strength, flexibility, mobility in these leg and core muscles which results in us using our arms and hands to get up and down.

    Let’s keep these bodies as young as we can by practicing getting up and down with only our legs, our center, and our strong back.

    Reformer: No props needed
    Cadillac/Tower: Reformer box
    Mat: Theraband
    Chair: No props needed

    See ya in class,

    xx-LL 💋

    HANG 10

    ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

    Grip strength as well as upper body strength plays an important role in so many different exercises throughout the mat and all apparatus. Our grip can influence the connection from our wrists - to our arms - to our back. And building strength in our chest and upper back can help us connect more to our center in every exercise.

    All month long we’ll explore the feeling, the strength, and the position of our hands and upper body to see how our exercises change with a little extra focus. We’ll also play with ways to gain more strength and awareness in our chest and upper back to create even more connections to the exercises.

    Props:
    Chair - short pole* and a foam roller for balance
    *A thicker pole or roll down bar size might feel nice, but no worries you’ll find your connections no matter what you have on hand!
    Mat: a pole
    Reformer: No props needed
    Cadillac: No props needed

    See ya in class,
    xx-LL 💋

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    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    Finding some love for Roll Up and Open Leg Rocker isn't easy! But, these two exercises unlock the potential for so many other exercises. And what we don't like we often need. So, let's dive into what we need to rock our Roll Ups and Open leg Rockers and see how that changes the rest of our practice in the meantime.

    Mat: Magic Circle, Pole or Theraband
    Reformer: have your shortbox pole near by

    xx~LL

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, Magic Circle, Pole or Theraband and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, short box and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.