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10 Best Pilates Ring Exercises to Strengthen Your Core, According to Experts

Want to build killer abs but don’t want to lift weights or sweat blood in the gym for long? Here are 10 pilates ring exercises that can sculpt your abdominals in six packs.

Sandra Adams
10 Best Pilates Ring Exercises to Strengthen Your Core, According to Experts
Table Of Contents

A strong core is essential for good posture, balance, and stability. But achieving a six-pack is not the only reason to strengthen your core muscles. Strengthening your core can also help relieve back pain, improve digestion, and even make you feel happier. And one of the best ways to strengthen your core is with Pilates ring exercises.

Pilates ring exercises are designed to target all of the muscles in your core, including your abs, obliques, and lower back. They are also very versatile, allowing you to adjust the difficulty level to match your fitness level. And because they can be done anywhere, they are perfect for busy people who don't have time to go to the gym.

Plus, you can do various exercises with the ring to target different muscle groups. It's mainly about core strength but not restricted to just that one part.

So if you're looking for a way to strengthen your core, try the pilates ring exercises mentioned below. They are an effective, convenient, and affordable way to get stronger, healthier, and happier.

How Can Pilates Help You Tone?

Pilates is often lauded for its ability to help people achieve long, lean muscles. But what about tone? Can pilates help you achieve that sought-after toned look? The answer may surprise you.

While traditional weight lifting can help build muscle mass, pilates can actually help define those muscles, resulting in a more toned, sculpted appearance. How? You may ask.

Pilates focuses on slow, controlled movements that engage the body's deep muscles. These small muscles are often neglected in traditional workouts but are essential for proper posture and balance. Pilates helps create a long, lean silhouette by targeting these deep muscles.

In addition, the focus on breath control and mindfulness helps improve circulation and increase oxygenated blood flow to the muscles. This helps with toning and provides a host of other health benefits.

So if you're looking for a workout to help you achieve a toned physique, pilates might be your perfect match. Here are the 10 best pilates rings exercises to engage and tone your core muscles:

1. Supine Twist

The supine twist is a classic pilates move that can be performed with or without a ring. The ring adds an extra challenge by providing resistance, but it also helps deepen the twist and add to the range of motion. It's a great way to lengthen the spine and release the lower back and hip tension.

  • Lay on your back on the mat, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Place the ring around your thighs, just above your knees.
  • Slowly lower your knees to one side as you exhale and twist your torso in the opposite direction.
  • Hold a few breaths, then return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

2. Side Plank Clams

The side plank clamshell is a great move for toning your inner thighs along with your core. It can be tough to maintain the form when your legs get tired. That's where the pilates ring comes in. You can maintain the correct alignment and work those inner thigh muscles by placing the ring between your knees.

  • Start in a side plank position with the ring between your ankles.
  • Place one hand on the floor in front of you for support, and keeping your feet stacked, raise your hips until your body is in a straight line from shoulder to ankle.
  • Open your knees like a clam, then close them again.
  • Remember to keep your core engaged the whole time, and don't let your hips dip or rise as you move.

3. Side Kneeling Oblique Press

If you are tired of your hanging love handles, then a side kneeling oblique press is just what you need. It is perfect for those looking to achieve an immaculate sculpted look. The move is good for toning on its own; the ring adds resistance, making it more challenging for the obliques.

  • Kneel on a mat with knees hips-width apart and ring upright on your right side. Place your right palm on top of the ring.
  • Reach your left arm up and side bend toward the ring without shifting weight, while pressing down on the ring with your right hand.
  • Return to the centre.
  • Do for a desired amount of reps before switching sides.

4. Side Leg Lift Abduction

The side leg lift abduction with a pilates ring is a challenging move that will effectively tone your inner and outer thighs while also engaging your core. With a little practice, you'll master this exercise despite it being challenging and reap the benefits of a strong and sculpted lower body.

  • To properly execute the move, start by placing the ring around your ankles and lying on your side with your legs extended.
  • Then, slowly lift your top leg as high as possible before lowering it back down to the starting position.
  • Make sure to keep your hips level throughout the movement and avoid arching your back.
  • You can add a small weight to your ankle or hold a dumbbell in your hand for an extra challenge.
  • Just keep your form in check, as this move can strain your lower back if not done correctly.

5. Side Leg Lifts Adduction

The core is important for everything we do daily, from sitting to standing to walking to, well, everything. So it makes sense that engaging our core muscles would be key to improving our overall strength, stability, and posture.

The side leg lift abduction with a pilates ring by DMoose is an excellent way to do that. The resistance of the ring forces you to engage your core muscles to lift your legs, resulting in a killer workout for your abs, obliques, and hips.

Plus, the added challenge that comes with balancing on the ring makes this exercise even more effective.

  • To start, lie on your side with the ring between your ankles.
  • Engage your core muscles and lift your top leg up to the ceiling, keeping the ring stable between your ankles.
  • As you lower your leg back down, resist the urge to let the ring fall out.
  • This move may seem easy at first, but as you fatigue, you'll feel the burn in your inner thighs.
  • For an extra challenge, try lifting the leg slightly higher or adding a small pulse at the top of the range of motion.

6. Roll Up

The roll-up is a movement that uses your spine and strengthens your abs simultaneously while widening the range of motion for both. Pilates requires control, which you will gradually develop with this move.

  • Start lying supine on a mat with legs extended.
  • Hold the ring between palms with arms extended straight above head.
  • Contract your abs and segment the spine up and off mat through forward into spinal flexion while squeezing the ring.
  • When the ring is over the feet, roll the spine back down to starting position. 

7. Spine Stretch

Spine stretch is a core engagement move that strengthens your abs and lower back while lengthening your spine. This is an excellent move if you are looking to improve your posture. The ring provides resistance, which helps engage your core muscles.

  • Sit with your legs mat width apart, torso upright, and holding the pilates ring between palms with arms extended forward at shoulder height.
  • Contract abdominals and round spine forward over the mat.
  • Reverse and segment the spine back up to start position. 

8. Bridge

The core is essential for stability and balance in the body, and the bridge is a great exercise for engaging the core muscles. The challenge of this exercise is to maintain control of the ring while you move your body through a range of motion.

The key is to keep the shoulders and hips level as you move the ring up and down. This exercise can be performed with or without a mat. If you're new to core exercises, starting on a mat is best to get a feel for the movement. Once you've mastered the technique, you can try it without a mat to challenge your core muscles.

  • To do the pose, start by lying on your back with your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent.
  • Place the ring in between your thighs, just above your knees.
  • Slowly lift your hips off the ground, using your core muscles to support you.
  • Hold the pose for five to 10 seconds before lowering back to the starting position.

9. Criss Cross

The Criss Cross with pilates ring is hard to beat when getting a killer core workout. This challenging move engages all the muscles in your core, including your obliques, to help give you a strong and toned midsection. Plus, the added resistance of the ring makes this move even more effective at sculpting your abs.

  • Start lying supine on a mat with legs bent at 90 degrees in a tabletop position. Hold the ring between palms.
  • Lift your head, neck, and shoulders up off the mat.
  • Extend your right leg to 45 degrees, bending your left leg in towards your chest as ribcage, arms, and ring rotate past your bent left leg.
  • Repeat alternating sides.

10. Double Leg Stretch

The double leg stretch is a core engagement move requiring serious coordination.

  • The starting position is lying on your back with both legs in the air and a pilates ring between both ankles.
  • You must engage your core muscles to lift your head and shoulders off the ground while stretching your legs out straight in front of you.
  • The move ends with both legs and the ring being pulled back toward your body as you return to the starting position.

This may look easy, but it's actually quite challenging. Not only do you have to engage your core muscles throughout the entire movement, but you also have to coordinate your arms and legs to keep the ring from hitting the floor.

In addition, because you're lying on your back, there's a chance that you could lose your balance and end up toppling over. So, it tests your coordination and balance in the most interesting way possible.


1. Should I do pilates every day?

Pilates is not the kind of complex and heavy exercise you'd have to think twice about doing; you can do it daily without worries. However, it is best to do pilates exercises three times a week.

So, in the beginning, when you are getting started, you can do it every day to get used to the routine and build stamina for it. Later on into the regime, you can do it every other day. The final choice depends upon one's exhaustion level and convenience.

2. How long does it take to see results from pilates?

Pilates is an amazing way to strengthen your core, learn body control, and much more, but don't expect magic the moment you start it. You'll have to be consistent (I hate to break it to you) and wait for some time before seeing physical changes.

Normally, you'll wait between 3 to 8 weeks before your body starts to show the most awaited changes. However, the good news is that you'll see mental changes much sooner than your physical counterparts. You'll be more focused, relaxed, and happier than when you weren't doing pilates.

3. How can I strengthen my core after 60?

Strengthening your core isn't impossible after the 60s at all. You can use special pilates ring exercises for seniors to begin to take control of your body. It'll be hard initially, but with time and consistency, you can adapt to the routine and build a strong core.

Be sure to choose only special pilates ring exercises for seniors to avoid excessive muscle soreness or some unwanted accident. Other than pilates, planks, superman, dead bug, wood chops, and side bends are perfect for building core muscles without much hustle.

4. Are pilates rings effective?

Yes, pilates rings are effective. They work your core muscles similarly to pilates exercises on the floor, but they provide greater challenge and intensity. In addition, using the rings can help you achieve better alignment and stability, improving your overall pilates experience.


Pilates rings are a great way to add extra resistance and challenge to your workouts, and they're especially good for targeting the core. We've provided you with ten exercises to help you build strength and get those rock-hard abs you've always wanted. So what are you waiting for? Get your pilates ring today, and start seeing results!

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Sandra Adams

Hi, I'm Sandra Adams, a certified personal trainer and fitness blogger dedicated to helping women reach their health and wellness goals. With over a decade of experience in the fitness industry, I specialize in crafting effective, easy-to-follow workout routines that fit into even the busiest schedules. 

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