Pilates and the Ring of Fire

Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 2:00 am 14 comments

pilates-ringDefinition of pilates: exercise regimen where medieval torture devices go to retire.

Yes, that was me extolling the virtues of Pilates in the post Pilates: Bust a Move. That, however, was over a week ago – before the newest training device was introduced. It’s a little something I like to call the ring of fire. What exactly is this ring of fire? It’s a round contraption made to assist in torture I mean resistance training.

Not only was a new piece of equipment brought out, but a whole new body position was introduced as well.

I lay on my back with arms at my side and feet fully extended. Then the instructions came. “Lift your feet straight up towards the ceiling until they form a 90 degree angle with the rest of your body.” So far so good. “Excellent! Now continue to move your legs back until your feet touch the floor behind your head. As you lift , roll your back up one vertebra at a time.”

“Behind your head?! What exactly do you plan to gain by putting your feet behind your head?”

Author’s note: This is the voice of reason. It shows up every once in a while.


(picture from here)

I had absolutely no idea what kind of benefit I might derive from this contortionist act. And to make matters worse, I was supposed to do this while squeezing the crazy ring between my ankles. Yeah right! Sometimes I think my instructor doesn’t like me very much.

Well, I got my feet all the way back and just a few inches above the floor (all the while managing not to drop the ring of oppression). I thought, “That’s pretty good. Maybe next time I’ll make it all the way to the floor”. But, nooooo. The instructor was right there to lend a helping hand. She made sure that my feet went all the way down to the floor. And yes, the demon ring was still between my ankles.

The amount of force required to operate the medieval torture ring:


(photo from here)

The amount of force I was able to muster:


(photo from here)

It’s more than a week later and I can still feel the soreness in my spine… one vertebra at a time. Don’t worry though. I’m not giving up.

I’ve got the heart of a:


(picture from here)


Entry filed under: Health, Miscellaneous Stuff. Tags: , , .

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14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cindy  |  Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 7:40 am


    Yeah, I’ll stick with my crummy little exercise bike. lol That ring kind of freaks me out a little bit…

    Good luck!

    • 2. Era  |  Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 8:42 am

      That ring, Grrrr… Anyway, on to bigger and better devices. 🙂

  • 3. Jax  |  Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 8:56 am

    I’ve had one of those rings for a little over a year. It is OK for other exercises but nothing involving holding the legs up. Have fun.

    • 4. Era  |  Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 9:29 am

      Oh, you haven’t used it until you’ve done side leg lifts and hip work. Thighs of steel! Mine are still a bit on the jello side, but I’m getting there.

  • 5. Raji  |  Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Oh maaaan, and here I was so inspired with your first pilates post I was going to find a class and make baby steps towards my goal of Michelle Obama biceps. Thanks for a really good reason to not bother!

    • 6. Era  |  Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 2:55 pm

      Don’t let me discourage you. My instructor likes to CHALLENGE me. I will say that pilates is very effective in toning and sculpting. I’m nowhere near where I want to be, but I have gained more muscle tone in a couple of months in pilates than I have in several months of weight training. These crazy pretzel moves really make you use those muscles!

  • 7. Sudharsana Srinivasan  |  Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Wow ! You are taking this Pilates seriously. Guess we have to watch out the next time we meet you 😉 lol

    • 8. Era  |  Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 2:49 pm

      Yeah, hopefully I can still walk when you see me.

  • 9. emma  |  Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 1:38 am

    i have one set of pilates dvd’s that i love… but it doesn’t come equipped with any rings of fire. dang – i am missing out!

    • 10. Era  |  Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 8:38 am

      LOL! When my trainer’s not looking I’ll try to get you one real cheap 😉 .

  • 11. Mom Gone Mad  |  Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 9:35 am

    And you managed to condense all that pain into a funny read for us!:-)

    Well done!

    • 12. Era  |  Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 3:50 pm

      I figured something positive should come out of the experience 🙂 .

  • 13. Doraz  |  Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    All I can say to this one is a big…OUCH!!!

    • 14. Era  |  Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 6:53 pm

      If it doesn’t kill me it will make me meaner.


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