Class #5312

Day 2: Magic Circle Fun

40 min - Class


Welcome to Day 2! Today Delia plays with creative ways to use the Magic Circle that will work your entire body. She teaches fun variations and revisits some of your favorite traditional exercises. Get ready to move!
What You'll Need: Mat, Magic Circle

About This Video

May 15, 2023
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Hi, I am Delia and welcome to my five-day challenge. Today is day two and we're gonna be working with the famous magic circle, fitness circle, or ring of fire, whatever resonates with you today. We'll have a little bit of fun with some new exercises and also revisit some of our classic Pilates exercises. I'm gonna start on the mat today. So have a seat anywhere in your mat.

Just make sure that you have enough room that we go to lie down onto the mat that your head's not off. I'm gonna start with a circle out in front, toes pointing forward. And I kind of use it as a little window here. So from here, I will squeeze my knees together to support my hips. And if you'd like, you can bring your feet in as well, or you can stay hip distance apart.

But let's start with a little postural exercise. So take a deep inhale breath and just sit up nice and tall. Now if this is difficult for your hip flexors, feel free to extend your legs out or do whatever you need to with your legs to make your hips feel good. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Let's start with an overhead reach.

So the arms are gonna come up and then the arms will come back down. And with that overhead reach, you don't wanna go too far, just far enough that you feel your shoulders mobilize. And anytime you work with a prop that has a little bit of resistance on there, there's a tendency to maybe overuse your joints. So we wanna be really careful when holding onto the handles, squeezing the circle between the legs, squeezing it between the hands, and all of that. So nice and gentle.

And then let's take a roll down. So half roll down. So tilt the pelvis back, roll down. On the first one, I make a little adjustment with my feet. It's a counterbalance thing.

So if your feet are longer, you have a different counter balance than I would have with my short little legs. So I'm gonna sit up nice and tall. Let's do that again. Tilt the pelvis back, roll yourself back. Right now, I have a nice soft elbow and I have a soft elbow because if I extend my arms way out, holding even a light prop like this, it puts a little strain on one of my shoulders.

But if I bend my elbows, I get a little bicep recruitment. One more time. Exhale breath, hold. Let's reach the arms up towards the ceiling. This is going to bring the weight back, making it a little bit more challenging to maintain flexion.

Arms out in front. Sit up nice and tall. Exhale breath as you flex back. Inhale as the arms come up, exhale as the arms come forward and then sit up. We're gonna continue with the rollback, so tilt the pelvis back and bring the arms up towards the ceiling.

Pause here. Add little pulses back with the arms. Go three, two, one. Arms forward. Sit up nice and tall.

Let's do that again. Tilt the pelvis back. Arms reach. Pulse one, two, three. And then sit up nice and tall.

We're gonna go into opposite arm movement, so the arms start up towards the ceiling with a reach. Now as you roll back, the arms will come forward. This is gonna allow me to roll back a little further. Sitting up nice and tall, arms up to the ceiling. Exhale breath as you flex.

Inhale breath as you lift. Just two more. Pulling that pelvis back, rounding up and sitting up tall. Last one on your exhale breath and pause here. Let's make it a little bit more challenging by bringing the circle towards your chest, pressing gently into the resistance, extending the arms out in front.

Three more of those. Exhale, three. Exhale, two. Exhale, one. And sit up nice and tall.

From here, we're gonna roll all the way back down to the mat. So pelvis tilts back, head drops, arms reach behind. I'm going to take one of the handles and place it underneath the head for a little prep. You might have seen this done before. This is an actually a great way to lift your head up with a little assist, so there's no pressure onto your neck.

My hands are gonna go to the inside of the handles. Take your chin to your chest and then lift up gently so that you could feel your abdominals fire, but you feel a nice stretch with your back. I like to press my head in to the circle to stretch the back of my neck, and then roll yourself down. That stretch of the neck is really helpful, especially if you've got a little tech neck going on where we always have our head or neck in extension. One more time, nod the chin.

Exhale and flex. Inhale, pause at the top, exhale to lower. I'm actually gonna take my circle out. That was a variation that's very helpful if this is something that works for you, and if you've got a really sore neck and are having a hard time keeping your head up for some of the flexion. Now the circle is going to go overhead.

Arms reach up towards the ceiling. Come up into a little ab curl, reaching the circle towards the knees. Roll yourself back to the mat, reach the arms overhead. The arm movement is a nice momentum, a controlled momentum. It also allows you to lift up a little bit higher because your arm weight comes forward.

Nod the chin, exhale as you reach. That was your last one. Roll yourself right back down. Let's add some more arm movement. Let's take the circle to the chest, give it a little squeeze.

Drop the chin to the chest, reach the circle forward, bend your elbows and then reach the circle back. By applying a little pressure to the circle, you get a little bit of bicep work. And also by recruiting the arms with the rest of the body, you've got some neurological work going on here, so it's a little coordination and you'll get that heart rate up a little bit more. Nod the chin, exhale as you reach, and bend, and then lift yourself right back up. Lift up on the next one by bending the elbows to chest, nodding the chin, and then exhale to reach the arms forward.

Now we're gonna maintain flexion. As you bend your elbows, pull and squeeze, one. Bring in the circle to the chest, two. One more, and three, arms reach forward. Spine drops.

Head back. Arms overhead. Inhale, arms up. Exhale as you flex. Inhale press, one.

Exhale, two. One more, three. Arms reach, roll yourself back. We're gonna do one more set. Arms to the ceiling, chin to the chest, and you lift.

Circle, one. Squeeze circle, two. Circle, three. Arms reach forward, lower yourself all the way to the mat, and pause. Let's go into a little supine spine twist.

One leg will go up to tabletop and then the other will go up to tabletop. Whether or not you maintain neutral position of your pelvis is gonna be dependent on your stability and how strong your abs are or how flexible your lower back is. I'm gonna air towards a little bit of imprints. I'm gonna press my lower back gently into the mat and maintain a tabletop with my legs. Arms will go towards the ceiling.

Shoulders will be supported on the mat as I take my legs slightly to the right and then back to center. If it doesn't work for you to hold a circle in your hands, that you're not quite balancing here, then place the circle down and bring your arms next to you for support. We're gonna inhale as we lean the legs to one side. Opposite shoulder stays down, most of the ribs are down, lower ribs up, hip up, back to the middle. And then over to the other side, same thing and back to center.

So the challenge is going to be you keeping the circle towards the ceiling. It's very easy and tempting to shift the weight with the arms, so that you can counterbalance and come back to the middle. Let's separate the legs about fist distance apart or hip distance apart into some toe dips. Your right foot will come down to the mat. Your left leg will stay steady and the hip is doing the movement, not the knee.

So you wanna make sure that that is the only moving joint, alternating. Inhale, right leg. And then left leg. Let's add the arms. As the right leg goes down, the arms go overhead.

As the right leg comes up, the arms come towards the ceiling. And then opposite movement. This is unilateral, one at a time. It's not reciprocal. So you wanna make sure that you find your start position each time.

One more. Inhale. Exhale, back. Last one, and then exhale and return. Now we're gonna take the right toe towards the mat.

Drop the foot and then reach the arms overhead, lifting the hips slightly into a bridge. Lower the hips to the mat. Lift the right leg to tabletop. Bring the arms back up towards the ceiling. Left foot comes to the mat.

Hip lifts, arms reach back. Arms come forward, hip lowers, and the leg comes back up. Inhale breath, lift. Exhale breath, lower. Right leg comes up, left foot to the mat.

You lift into your bridge, the right leg comes back. You lower, and lower the foot back down. Extend your legs nice and long. Reach the arms over your head. Arms to the ceiling, let's roll up all the way and let's add the circle to the legs.

So I'm gonna place my legs inside the circle. You can place your legs inside the circle. You can place them outside the circle. It's obviously gonna change what you feel. On the outside, if they're on the outside, you're gonna get a little bit more feedback from the outside of your thighs and towards your outside of your hips.

On the inside, a little bit more inner thigh work. Feet forward, circle secure. Roll yourself all the way back to the mat and lift your legs up to tabletop. Let's go into the hundred. The arms reach overhead.

As the arms come up, you are gonna start to pump the arms by your hips. Just a little press. Now what you can do is use a circle for a little emphasis. So when your exhale breath, press the circle apart and then bring it back together. Inhale breath, and exhale, press it apart.

And return. Inhale, 2, 3, 4, 5. Exhale, 2, 3, 4, 5. Inhale, 2, 3, 4, 5. Exhale, 2, 3, 4, 40.

Now as you press the circle apart, watch at your feet. Don't go out to the side, that you're keeping ankles in line with your knees and that you're pumping your arms at the same time, which it takes a little coordination. Let's just do one more. Inhale, 2, 3, 4, 5. And exhale.

And then the legs come back, maintain tabletop and then lower your head back to the mat. Now let's take your fingers, interlace them. Place it behind your head. With your head into your hands, toes pointing forward, we're gonna go into a bilateral toe dip. So the toes will come down towards the mat and then the legs will come back up to tabletop.

I'm pressing against the circle so that I could support the weight of my legs by firing the outside of my glute and my hips. Toes lower, and you lift. You don't have to go very low. Now head and shoulders come up so that you can increase that range of motion with the head up and then back down. Inhale breath and exhale breath.

Let's just do two more. Last one. Legs come back up, and lower yourself back to the mat. Holding on to the circle, we're gonna roll up to our seat. And then go ahead and release the circle out of our legs.

Feet are gonna come together for rolling like a ball. So toes forward, heels up, and I'm actually gonna place my inside of my hand or the inside of my arm into the outside of my leg. Circle out in front. This will give me a quite a bit of support as I roll back. So once I've pressed my legs up against my arms, I'll feel my biceps fire because I'm pressing an opposition.

Scooping your abdominals in and bringing your feet close enough that you can maintain the circle out in front of your shins and the toes at a hover. Let's go into that rolling like a ball. Inhale to roll back. Exhale to roll up, pressing up against the legs and then pressing into the circle. Inhale.

Exhale. (Delia exhales) And up, and again. This is quite challenging because I'm doing something completely different with my legs than I'm doing with my hands. I'm squeezing the circle, but pressing my legs apart. Inhale, back.

Exhale to return. One more time as you inhale. Exhale, back up and extend those legs nice and long. From here, a little stretch of the back of the legs, just placing the circle on the outside of the feet and then dropping down into your legs for a little stretch, pointing through your feet. And then sitting up nice and tall.

One more time, as you point forward, this is a little reset and then set. Let's work on that retraction of the shoulder blades with a circle up against the feet. So what that means is the shoulder blades are gonna come together. We're gonna work on some postural muscles. So flexing the ankles, I've got hands on the circle, feet up against the circle.

I'm gonna bring my shoulder blades together and then release my shoulder blades. Bring them together for retraction, and then back to neutral. This retraction is an important piece to your extension. And you could see the movement of my circle, how much I'm actually pulling on it. I wanna keep my elbows pretty long on this one.

So it's actually the shoulder blades that are doing the work. One more time, nice and tall. And release. Now keep the circle on just one foot. You can flex or point the other foot.

But the one that's on the circle, you wanna put a little bit of dorsiflexion tension on there or a flat foot. From here, this is hard for most people to do. It's hard for me. Sitting up nice and tall, we're gonna lift the leg up off of the mats. You'll feel a nice stretch at your hamstring, but if you go too far, then you're gonna collapse at your back.

So stay conservative and then lower the leg back down. What you wanna do is fire your abdominals as you lift your leg up. It's very easy to just superficially get in to that hip flexor. Inhale, keep a tall posture. Exhale.

Most of the time when I teach, I teach exercises that I most likely need and I really need this, so bear with me. Inhale, up and then exhale. Let's add a little abduction. I'm actually gonna hold on with just the right hand. Put my left hand down.

I'm gonna take my leg out to the side and then return back to the middle. Inhale breath. Exhale. My arm is working automatically, so that's good. I'm supporting my hip flexor with the circle, but I'm gonna consciously use the abdominals to open and close the legs and I'm gonna use my left hand as my supporting hand.

So I'm getting a full body integration. And you can also really send the energy, right out of that supporting leg. One more time and return. Now from here, holding onto the circle, let's roll down. Let's roll down and reach that leg up towards the ceiling.

You could give yourself a nice little stretch here and hold. You could even go into a little IT band stretch, or you could just pause. I'm gonna have both hands on the circle, lifting my head and shoulders up. Scoop the abdominals in. Start to float that supporting leg off the floor, pointing the toe.

Let's bring that leg up towards a circle, one. Inhale, exhale, two. It doesn't matter which direction you hold your circle. You can bend your elbows and go into a bicep curl. You can hold this way.

The circle isn't meant for you to put more attention into your neck. However, it should be an assist for you to drop. If you're having a hard time keeping your leg up there for, say, hamstring pull or scissor leg, this is a really great assist. One more time and then you're gonna lower and then back down. Let's bend that knee, nod the chin, and use the circle to pull ourselves back up to a seated position.

Switching legs. My foot's gonna go onto the circle. My right foot's gonna extend nice and long, and we'll lift that torso up and hold. Then from here, leg comes up, leg lowers. Inhale to lift, and exhale.

Just a gentle reminder not to pull on the back of the knee. So you might need to soften the knee or just shorten your range of motion if you're getting a funny feeling at the back of your knee. Again, nice and tall. Hopefully I look tall. I don't have a mirror, so hopefully I look nice and tall.

One more time, and then lower. Now we're gonna do the abduction or outer thigh. So nice and tall with the spine, I'm gonna keep that right leg active. Place my right hand down, and then take that leg to the side. Out and then back.

Bicep working, forearm is working, shoulders are back. Right hand is supported. A little a reminder to send energy out of that right leg, nice and tall with the spine. And I've lost count like most Pilates instructors but you're gonna come back and hold and release. Let's lower to the mat.

Bring that leg up towards the ceiling and hold. Do whatever you need to do. Point flex, side stretch, over to the IT band, or just hang with me. Hands back onto the circle and nod your chin. Lift up and pause.

Scoop those abs in. It's like a little assist for your abs. Let's go to make that right leg active as you lift up and down eight times, and one. Inhale, exhale, two. Right leg stays perpendicular to the hip.

Nice and strong with the legs. Two. Last one. Now, let's place both feet in and lower down and then bend the knees and pause. All right, you ready for a little teaser prep?

It's a little early, but we could do it. Nod the chin. Flex the spine. Keep both feet on the circle and it's gonna pull you up to a seated position. I am gonna opt out of extending the legs now.

I'm gonna stay with my knees bent, tall through the spine. The teaser, actually the bottom part of your body, is nice and scooped and the upper part of your body should be nice and straight. Don't hinge up to a teaser. Make sure that you roll up to a teaser. So the circle might help you a bit.

Let's pull the knees to chest, roll back, and then rest. Let's do the head again. Nod the chin. Exhale, little pressure onto that circle. Tall through the spine.

Inhale breath. Exhale, scoop the abdominals in and then lower it back down. One more time. Exhale breath. Float yourself up.

Now, go ahead and extend the legs out if you'd like. Take one hand to the floor. Take the legs slightly to the left. Rotate your upper body to the right. Smile.

Come back to the middle. And you're gonna switch for one more repetition. Slight movement to the legs to the right, head to the left. A little seated twist here. Hands to the circle, lower yourself back down.

That was so fun. We're gonna do it again. Nod the chin. Exhale to flex yourself back up. Let's extend those legs.

You can keep them bent if you'd like. Let's start now with the right hand on the circle, left hand down, look over your left shoulder, legs to the right, back to the middle. Hold, switch. Look over your right shoulder, back to the center. Hands to the circle, bend your knees, and then roll back down and rest.

Let's extend the left leg long. Keep the right leg on. Give yourself a nice little stretch here. And then we're gonna take the knee, bend it into the chest. Left leg is long.

Nod your chin. And then just go ahead and pull yourself up to your seat. Give yourself a nice little stretch on that leg. Lower yourself back to the mat. And let's just switch the legs out, a little extra stretch for that hamstring.

Nod the chin, roll yourself up. And you could actually use this exercise as a prep exercise for the teaser if you'd like. And then roll yourself all the way back to the mat. I'm gonna take the circle overhead, flex through the ankles, and then roll myself all the way back up. And let's go into some sideline.

I'm gonna get onto my right hip, placing the circle on the mat. I'm actually gonna place my legs inside the circle. So just like any setup for sideline, you wanna make sure that you have the circle in the right spot or the legs in the right spot so that when you're lying down, it doesn't put pressure onto your back. All right, so I'm gonna bring my leg in side. It's not my ankle, which is bony and pointy.

It's right above my ankle. And then I'm gonna lie all the way down and hope that circle stays and then lower. Okay? Line all the way onto the mat. Your arm is bent and you wanna pull your waist up off of the mat.

And let's just go ahead and start with a little abduction. We've done a lot of outer thigh to start, so let's do some inner thigh. Something to keep in mind when you're doing or using the magic circle, it's not about using it to burn your inner thighs out. And that's what we tend to do a lot. It's like our first instinct is, let's see how much we could squeeze this thing.

You don't really wanna squeeze your inner thighs that much. You can get the same effect by just squeezing your knees together or putting a small prop between the legs like a box. Try to think about using this to challenge other parts of your body and not wearing out your inner thighs all the time. So I'm gonna go ahead and hold a little tension onto the circle. Keep my waist lifted.

I'm just gonna bring the bottom leg up to the top and lift. If you don't have that range of motion where your leg comes to the top, don't worry about it. You don't need to get it all the way up there. You especially don't wanna compromise any other part of your body just to get your inner thighs to work, those inner thighs. So one more time, we're gonna lift it up and then just make circles.

So the hardest part for me is not the circle, the hardest part for me is keeping that top leg quiet, which should be in parallel. Reverse, little circle, circle, circle. Two more, and then rest. Let's give that bottom leg a break. And let's hover the top leg above the magic circle.

Take the leg forward, turn your foot medial and drop it to the floor. So it's a very light drop. My left hand is my supporting hand here, so don't be afraid to use it. And then I'm gonna take the foot back. Now, you don't actually have to touch the floor.

You can just go forward and back in a short range of motion. Now I'm gonna do that, but I'm gonna allow my hips to move because to ask my hips to just sit still for this is gonna be hard. So I'm gonna allow a little play. So as my leg goes back, I'll push my hips slightly forward, but it's in control and I'm gonna bring my leg forward. Inhale and exhale.

Find a breath that maintains fluidity throughout the exercise. In through the nose, out through the mouth. One more time. But this time, I'm just gonna take the leg up and above the circle and then let the toe hang and just toe tap. Eight, seven.

Glute them in, four, three, two, one. Bring the leg back, rest it on top, and release the tension. Let's take that top leg, bring it to the floor, pull yourself up. And then I'm gonna take the circle and just keep it here. We'll do a little stretch to this side.

So bringing the right arm up, a little mermaid stretch to the side, a little pressure on the circle, a little pressure. And then back and again. Inhale, arm up. Exhale, bend and squeeze. One more time.

Lift, and you can even do a little rotation. Dropping that hip back, bringing both hands to the circle, pushing it slightly away like a reformer bar, sitting yourself right back up and back to the other side. I'm gonna choose to continue to face you guys. I'm just gonna flip over and take the circle to the other side and place my legs inside. So we got another side.

I forgot about that almost. I'm gonna bring the top leg there. Good, all right. Okay, hand folded over. Other hand for support.

Where do we start? Top leg, little squeeze. So if you'll find that if you squeeze the circle too much, you actually will lose a lot of stability. You'll start moving all over the place. So the circle will give you that proprioceptic feedback as to when to stop, right?

Just keep that waist lifted off of the floor. Three, two, last one. Let's hold a circle down with a little bit of tension and then we'll take the bottom leg up, one. And exhale, two. It should feel like the top leg is reaching away at the same time, the bottom leg is reaching up and away.

And up. Two more. Last one, now circles. And I'm not really counting, I'm just kind of going to a little bit of burnout, which is great. And then reverse.

Have a little repetition in mind, anywhere between four and eight repetitions. And then when you burn out, just give that body a little rest and hold. We're gonna lower it all the way back down. Stay. Take the top leg off.

And then we're gonna go into little movement from each side of the circle. Now remember, I allowed a little play with my hips, little play. Sometimes, I like to un-Pilates my body every once in a while and just allow myself to move with control. Nice and fluid. Maybe that's a oxymoron.

No control in Pilates. I don't know if they go hand in hand, but they do the way I teach. Inhale, forward and then exhale and back. One more time, let's keep it forward. Turn the toe down, little toe dip.

One, two, three. We're all gonna go to eight. You got four, three, two, and one. And then bring that leg back. Go ahead and come all the way up.

I'm gonna take the... I have the back leg, right? And to come up, so the circle doesn't fly all over the place. I'll keep my legs to the same side. And my shin, my leg set up is similar to the reformer mermaid set up.

So my hand's gonna be on the circle. Little pressure here as I stretch to one side and then come back up. Something I didn't talk about on the last side is if you keep this arm nice and long, you'll get a much bigger stretch on your lats. As soon as you bend that elbow, it, like, disconnects. And then you end up just with a floppy arm.

But you want that nice long stretch. Let's go ahead and come down one more time. Little rotation, both hands on. Push the circle away for a nice stretch. And then returning right back.

On all fours now. So I'm gonna keep the circle on this side. Coming to my knees, let's start off with a little cat-cow. So hands are down, the circle's gonna be there in front of me. I'm gonna need it here in a second.

Round the back and then straighten out the back and extend. This is one of my favorite transition exercises. It keeps me grounded. It keeps me present. It gives my body a little break, so when I go to the next exercise, I just give that much more, right?

All right, now let's go ahead and take that circle. And now it's going to be actually to the outside of my mat. Because to the inside of my mat, this might be a little bit too challenging. So I'm just gonna bring it to the outside here for just a moment, and I'm gonna do a little press, just a teeny little press. And press.

So what I'm doing is firing those peck muscles, that interior delt, as I press the circle down. Two, and one. Now from here, I'll take my left leg back behind me. So now I have a little bit of a wider position with my arms. So it's gonna keep me a little bit more stable.

And then I'm gonna press the circle down as I keep my left leg extended back. A little press, three, and two, and one. Now I'm gonna see if my mind will do the pulsing. So as I press the circle down, I lift that leg up for a little swimming prep. Two.

Exhale, three. Four, four more. Four, three, two, and one. The knee lowers, and I rest that arm for just a moment. I'm gonna turn the circle so that I now have a hold of the side that doesn't have a handle because it's gonna make it a little bit easier to grip.

And I'm gonna bring my circle a little bit closer. Now this time, I'll extend my arm out in front of me, leg behind me, holding my weight out in front. And then I'm gonna bring everything back in without touching the circle or the knee to the mat four times. Inhale. Exhale, two.

Inhale. Exhale and three. I'm just gonna readjust my hand grip there and reach. On the last one, hold. Now let's take that circle, bring it to the knee as I round my back.

Tap and then reach out in front, one. Three more, exhale. Inhale, two. You can go flexion, all the way to extension. Last one.

And reach. Whoop and hold. Almost lost my balance. Let's go ahead to the other side. Circle goes to the outside of the mat.

Hand presses down, hand to the floor. Knees underneath my hips. Just a little press circle here. Again, peck anterior delt. Let's not forget about the supporting arm here on this side.

And then we're going to stabilize that circle. Let's go into the leg lift. So I'll take that opposite leg away as I put a little pressure onto the circle. And then I'm gonna bring that knee back down to the mat, and I'll do that again. Inhale and exhale.

For two more, stabilizing here as I find that hip extension. Last one, hold it out. And then I'm gonna go into a little press of the circle, lifting of the leg. One. Exhale, two.

Adds a little coordination. Makes you think just for a second, nice and stable with the shoulders. Be careful how much pressure you put onto that circle. Last one. And then go ahead and drop the knee down.

I'm turning the circle again so that I can hold onto the handle part. From here, the left arm goes out in front, the right leg goes back. And then go ahead and bring it back down, but this time, you're gonna hover, remember? So inhale, reach, and then exhale. So you're constantly firing into those obliques.

The arms are working to stabilize. I feel a lot on my left side of my oblique to keep me from collapsing there in the hip. One more, hold and then bring that circle now to the knee. Touch, and then extend. And inhale.

Exhale here, and then inhale to extend. We'll do two more. Flexion and reach. Last one, exhale breath, and reach. And then lower.

I'm gonna take that circle, place my hands right on top, and then find a child's pose to release the tension. What's nice about this is I could drop my head between the arms, but the circle has a little bit of give, so there's not much pressure onto my shoulders. And then lift. We're gonna go right into extension from here. Circle out in front, lie onto your hips.

And then the circle will go, I'll keep it maybe at the edge of the mat or actually maybe I'll leave it on the mat, might be a little bit better. But what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna start with my hands at the bottom instead of bringing my hands to the top. So my hands are here at the bottom. My elbows are bent. Let's press the hips into the mat and then gauge the lower half of the body.

So what you want is the pubic bone to press into the mat. So what that does is fire the lumbar spine and keeps it stable. Then you'll draw the navel to the spine and press the feet into the floor. From here, just lift up, find a little extension, and then lower yourself back down. I'm actually gonna bring the circle maybe a little bit closer so I get a little bit more bend in my elbows.

So as I come up now, I've got a little bit more extension. So it could be a little trial and error for you here. Two more. Lift the chin. Extend up.

So you're trying to look above the circle almost. And then lower yourself down. Two more times. Inhale, extend. Oh, that feels so good.

Exhale to lower. Last one. Lift it up and then lower it all the way back down. Next, hands to the top. You do want your elbow soft here so that when you push down into the circle, you can extend your arms.

If you start off with an extended arm, it's a little bit harder to get up. So this is level two, hands to the top. Start to put a little pressure onto the circle. As you lift your eyes, make sure it's all stable. And then lift your eyes up as you press, put pressure into the circle.

And this has feedback. So you could be a little bit wobbly here. And then lower yourself back down. What you'll feel is those stability muscles trying to work for you. Head up, lift, look right above that circle and then up.

Now if you noticed, I'm getting a little bit more extension this way. You can eliminate the circle altogether. Place your hands on the floor if you've got some stuff going on with your shoulder where this doesn't work for you. One more time, lift yourself back up, find that extension and then lower yourself. We're right back down.

I'm gonna grab on now to the side handles, or not side handles, but the side that doesn't have the handles. From here, take a deep inhale. Put a little pressure. You can, even though you're not holding the handles, and stabilize the upper body. So I'm holding the handles, pulling down or holding the side, excuse me, pulling down and lifting my head above my arms.

I'm looking at the handles is what I'm doing. I'll float my legs up for a little swim. As I swim, you'll notice that there could be some movement into the circle. Just try to keep nice and stable. And breathe.

Now, we're gonna drive a car while we swim. Or maybe I should say drive a boat, maybe? You're gonna start to roll the circle towards the right side of the mat and look towards your right shoulder and then come back to center and then rotate to the left and come back to center. What you're gonna be doing here is coming into a slight, maybe firing of the right oblique. So a little side flexion, and then over to the left side, stabilizing.

So I guess, I don't know if you wanna drive a boat. This way it doesn't seem quite safe, but... Or if you can drive your surfboard. And then back to the middle. Last one, just to throw your body off a bit.

Back to the center. Drop the circle gently and go ahead and push yourself back into your child's pose and release that tension. All right. Take in the circle now. We're gonna go ahead and put the legs in it for the inner thighs or legs on the outside.

So, circle goes between the thighs. Now, some circles are a little bit big for some people. So if it doesn't work for you, then they do make smaller circles. You'd probably try to find one of those or just eliminate this part all together. Feet are down.

I'm gonna do a little leg, leg pull prep. So basically just putting my hips into extension again. Hands are gonna come back behind me. And how do you find that position? Let's go ahead and just bring the arms up towards the ceiling and then bring the hands back.

That's probably your range of motion. Let's keep the fingertips pointing out and then lift your hips up and find a bridge and open up that front body, squeezing gently into the circle. Lower the hips back down and pause. And again. And what you'll find is it might fling out, so I gotta secure it a little bit.

So hands are back pressing into the feet, opening up that front body. Shoulders nice and wide. This feels so good, especially using the circle as much as we did in the hands. It opens up the bicep a bit, and the bicep is always gonna be tight. I mean, if you're typing at a computer, driving a car, your elbows are constantly bent.

And then return. One more time, we're gonna stay up. So lift yourself up, hold, give the circle a squeeze, one. And squeeze, two, three. And you can lift up higher if you like.

(Delia puffs) And then slowly lower your hips right back down to the mat. We're gonna release the circle down, place it at the back of the mat, and then come up to standing. Now let's step into the circle to complete your class today. So I'm gonna go ahead and stand in. Oops, lost some balance.

Bring the circle right back up to the ankle. So I'm inside the circle. Is there really a Pilates class without pushups at the end? So we're gonna do some pushups. So, reach those arms up to the sky, fold forward, walk yourself out to a plank.

Give me just one pushup. Inhale, exhale. Go to a pike position and then walk yourself back, rolling yourself back up to standing. Here we go again. Inhale breath, exhale to flex.

Walk your hands out. I'm choosing one pushup because I wanna look good doing my pushup. And one at a time works a little bit better for me, and then roll all the way up. Let's just go to five. Inhale breath, exhale to flex forward.

Walk your hands out, find that plank position. You want your hands underneath your shoulders. One pushup, elbows bent to the ribs, pike and walk back. You are welcome to drop your knees on your pushup. So make sure that you don't push yourself past what your body wants to do.

And I believe we have two more. Inhale breath, and then bend. Exhale, press it up. Pike yourself up. Roll yourself up.

Arms reach up to the sky. Let's do that one more time. Fold forward. And I'm not gonna rush back. This time, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna take it to one pushup, hold, take it to my pike, hold that pike, point a little bit of pressure onto the circle, so little resistance there.

Opening up through my inner thighs and engaging my outer thighs. Then I'll walk my hands back to my feet. Step out of the circle, holding the handles. Roll all the way up to standing. I'll face you guys.

A little cool down. Hands up towards the ceiling. Take the circle to the right and hips to the left. Give yourself a nice little stretch. And then over to the other side.

And then maybe bring that circle behind and open up through the chest. Let's move that cervical spine around, left and right. I don't know if you guys can hear my neck crunch, but it crunches just a little bit. And then one more reach out the sky. Take a huge deep inhale breath, and then circle to heart center.

And you guys are all done today with day two of the five-day challenge. And I look forward to seeing you guys tomorrow. Thanks for joining me.


2 people like this.
Love the workout! It is fun and your instructions are always very clear! Thank you Delia!
Lina S
1 person likes this.
I appreciate your explanations of the rationale or the purpose of the exercises, the why behind the placement of the body. Great class!
Patricia C
1 person likes this.
Thank you Delia! Great class🌻
Julie Lloyd
1 person likes this.
One of the best magic circles classes I have ever done! Thank you Delia!
So excited to see you have new classes! I so enjoy your teaching . I have done your last series several times and am looking forward  to the rest of these classes!
Jess H
Great class, thank you for giving modifications too ☺️
New variations of exercises with the circle for me - great … thank U 🙏🇩🇰
1 person likes this.
Such a fantastic workout in 40 mins with one of my favorite props- thank you, Delia!
Loved this workout with the circle…I happen to be on vacation and have mine with me, ( I know). But great way to start my day!!!
Lesley M
Love your classes.  Clear, good flow, work the whole body and I don’t have to worry about injuring myself. Thank you. 
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