If you haven’t heard of the Pilates Wheel, don’t worry, you’re not the only one. It’s taking its place in the pilates world. This Pilates method has been attracting more practitioners who, in addition to knowing the benefits and feeling the fantastic results of this physical exercise, have contact with the very creative and functional devices and accessories created by Joseph Pilates. Among them, we can highlight the Pilates Wheel.

But what is the Pilates Wheel?

It is a ring, usually made of metal or rubber, approximately thirteen inches in diameter, with side supports usually called “pacs” and padding.

This accessory can currently be found in specific Pilates stores and physical therapy and sporting goods stores.

How did the Pilates Wheel come about?

The accessory grew out of Joseph’s initial idea that he decided to use a metal ring removed from a barrel.

Over time it has been perfected and can now be found in the vast majority of Pilates studios, Academies, and Physiotherapy Clinics.

It can be called by various names such as Windsor Ring, Fitness Circle, Exercise Ring, Fitness Ring, but the name Pilates Wheel was the name chosen as Joseph Pilates’ favorite.

According to the creator, this accessory is intended for the practitioner to find his center (centralization, one of the method’s principles). When used correctly, you will find an excellent tool to perfect your Pilates classes.

As they do not offer the same resistance of free weight, it can significantly reduce the risk of injury, is widely used in rehabilitation and work with the elderly and pregnant women.

Joseph Pilates said that we should never exert 10 pounds for a 5-pound movement.

This accessory has a secondary use since all Pilates exercises can be done without it. In the case of Classical Pilates, this accessory may be included in the repertoire exercises, and in the contemporary one, more variations of use are allowed.

As the ring structure is flexible, it can also be used by pushing from the inside out, also activating the abductor muscles of the hips and shoulders. Being light and cheap, they are widely used by the method and have become trendy accessories.

Therefore, they are critical during the sessions, increasing the mind and muscle connection through exteroception because when holding it, the muscles are activated.

It can also be used as an aid in stretching work. In sessions (classes) on computers, it is also widely used.

Rehabilitation with the practice of Pilates

Pilates has been a currently highly studied method concerning rehabilitation. In addition to improving the quality of movement as the objective of reducing the risks of injury.

There are still a few athletes who practice the Pilates Method as a way of rehabilitation and to improve performance, but it is a reality that is growing.

The activation of the deep muscles and the body’s axis (abdominals, multifidus, and gluteal muscles) promotes the body’s more excellent stability and protection of the spine. The spine is in great demand in the vast majority of body movements.

Below, we have separated several examples of floor exercises and equipment. Let’s go there?

Solo exercises with Pilates Wheel

  • Adductor Lateral Work

Initial Position: Lying in lateral decubitus, with one of the arms flexed, supporting the head and the other resting on the floor, keep the abdomen contracted and legs extended with the Pilates Wheel placed between the legs just below the knees.

Movement: Breath in standing still and during the expiration, make a force to close the Pilates Wheel to activate the adductors (inner thigh) also starting the abdomen and relax.

Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise.

  • Roll Up

Starting Position: Lying supine, with shoulders flexed upward overhead, lower limbs extended and aligned.

Execution: Roll up the spine, slowly flexing the trunk and raising the arms holding the Pilates Wheel, taking the chest as far as possible. You can take advantage of and squeeze the Pilates Wheel at the feet to aid in stretching.

Return to the starting position by slowly unrolling the spine.

  • Shoulder Bridge

Initial Position: Lying in the supine position, legs bent and feet flat on the floor, place the Pilates Wheel between the thighs.

Execution: Raise the hips slowly and return to the starting position placing the spine on the ground vertebra by vertebra.

  • Teaser

Initial Position: Lying in a supine position with arms extended behind the head holding the Pilates Wheel with the hands and legs bent with the feet resting on the floor.

Execution: Raise the trunk until sitting on the ischium bringing the arms forward, holding with light pressure of the hands in the Pilates Wheel activating pectorals.

This exercise is an educational one for executing the traditional Teaser completed with the legs raised and extended.

  • Swimming

Initial Position: Lying prone, left arms extended above head holding Pilates Wheel with hands and legs aligned.

Execution: Raise the head holding the Pilates Wheel with the arms raised while striking the legs widespread by changing the legs in shorter and faster movements.

Exercises on the Reformer with Pilates Wheel

  • Leg Series: One Leg

Initial Position: Lying on the Reformer in the supine position, feet in plantar flexion, support one of the feet on the support bar of the apparatus, and the other leg extended upward, keeping the foot on the Pilates Wheel and holding it with both hands.

Execution: Extend the leg supported on the bar while stretching the portion raised by pulling the Pilates Wheel with the hands to increase the stretching work.

Return to the starting position.

  • Footwork Toes Variation

Starting Position: Lying supine on the Reformer, “wear” the Pilates Wheel and position at thigh height and support feet on the bar in plantar flexion.

Execution: Push the cart extending the knees, making a slight abduction of the legs. Avoid fully stretching the legs so as not to lose the activation of the abductors.

Return to the starting position by bending the legs bringing the carriage back, and relaxing the Pilates Wheel’s tension.

  • Pectoral Work

Initial Position: kneeling in front of the springs with raised hands also holding the Pilates Wheel with the arms flexed.

Execution: Lean the torso backward, extending the arms and pulling the springs with the hands while pressing the Pilates Wheel, activating the pectorals’ muscles.

Return to the starting position.

  • Sit Up

Starting Position: Lying in a supine position, arms extended holding the tower bar and legs bent at 90 degrees with the Pilates Wheel between the legs near the malleoli.

Execution: Perform the trunk flexion while raising the tower bar keeping the arms extended and extend the legs by pressing the Pilates Wheel.

Return to the starting position.

  • Swan Front

Initial Position: Lie down on the chair in the prone position, resting your hands on the step. Keep the lower limbs well aligned and with the Pilates Wheel positioned on the legs close to the malleoli.

Execution: With the arms extended, raise the trunk doing an extension at the same time as pressing the Pilates Wheel activating the adductors.

Return to the starting position.

You can also activate the abductors by placing the Pilates Wheel on the outside of the legs also near the malleoli.

  • Pump One Leg Variation

Initial Position: Sitting in axial alignment, with one of the feet in plantar flexion with the forefoot resting on the step. The other leg is extended with the foot resting on the Pilates Wheel. Extend your arms to secure the Pilates Wheel in this position.

Execution: Push the step down with the foot that is resting on it, keeping the leg that is extended in the same position as the beginning of the movement.

Return to the starting position.

  • Horse

Initial Position: Sitting on the Barrel with hips abducted and arms extended forward holding the Pilates Wheel at chest level.

Execution: Adduct the legs “squeezing” the Barrel while squeezing the Pilates Wheel.

Return to the starting position.

  • Side Body Twist

Initial Position: Lying in lateral decubitus with the feet resting on the back and the arms extended behind the head holding the Pilates Wheel.

Execution: Raise the trunk keeping it lateralized and lightly press the Pilates Wheel.

Return to the starting position.


Have we provided enough information? Did you like the exercises?

As we saw, the practice of Pilates contributes to improving the performance of various sports. So, it is always recommended to combine Pilates with running, swimming, athletics, soccer, bodybuilding, and any other sport.

The benefits of Pilates are countless! It is very important that you, the instructor, can contribute in the best possible way with your student.

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead, grab your pilates wheel, and start forming that awesome body you always wanted. It might take a bit more practice but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be a pro in record time!