Body Ring Workout

Ana Caban
Year Released: 2001

Categories: Pilates/Core Strength

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With strength work, I am an intermediate exerciser, who doesn’t really want to move up to advanced work. Most of the time, I do traditional strength work with weight. However, I have enjoyed branching out into Pilates and workouts on the ball as well. Most recently, I have been on a quest to find good workouts with which I can use my Pilates fitness circle. So far, I’ve tried one of Moira Stott’s workouts and Karen Voight’s workouts, and then this one.

The box says that this workout is 40 minutes; and it is if you watch from the FBI warning through the credits. I did it in 35 minutes.

The workout is set on a dock by a lake. I’ve seen it before in another Ana Caban workout. Tara joins Ana in this workout as a background exerciser, but she does not show modifications. They do the same moves throughout the workout. The workout is done with voice over and it is accompanied by light instrumental music. Ana gives form pointers throughout the workout and describes the moves in a clear way. A few stretches are inserted between more strength-oriented moves throughout the workout.

Below are the moves contained in the workout. In each case, you hold and/or use the fitness circle in some way.

Warm up with stretches and twists
Roll ups
Single leg stretch
Double leg stretch
Criss Cross
Spine stretch forward
Leg press downs
Leg press ups
Double leg lifts
Back extensions
Leg lifts
Heel beats
Pelvic lifts
Seated leg press downs
Single arm press
Double arm press
Chest presses
Lat pull downs
Spine twists
Arm circles
Leg presses
Final stretches

Between “seated leg press downs” and “final stretches”, the moves are done on a chair. To me, this workout felt like a traditional Pilates workout with the insertion of moves specifically for the fitness circle.

Of the three workouts I’ve tried with the fitness circle, I think this is my favorite. Moira Stott’s is a bit dry and I had trouble doing a couple of the moves. Karen Voight’s left my inner thighs BURNING, but she didn’t use the circle with the entire body and much of it felt like traditional floor work, something I generally don’t enjoy as much as Pilates. This workout wasn’t super intense, but it did leave me feeling pleasantly worked out.

Instructor Comments:
Ana has a calm, straightforward manner and gives form pointers throughout the workout.

Laura S.


This is a full-body Pilates workout which incorporates use of the Pilates fitness circle, or bodyring. Instructor Ana Caban works out with a partner, Tara, in a pleasant setting by a pond. The workout begins with approximately 24 minutes of matwork, starting with a few simple stretches and then moving into traditional Pilates moves such as the hundred, the roll-up, and the single leg stretch. For each move, the bodyring is used to enhance the work, either by holding it in-between your feet or squeezing it with your hands to involve the upper body. The second half of the matwork focuses more on the legs and contains a lot of leg press work very similar to Karen Voight's Total Body Toning. The last 10 minutes of the workout are performed seated in a chair. In this segment, Ana uses the ring more for the upper body, but you will also do some additional inner and outer thigh work. Finally, there are some brief stretches, bringing the total workout time in at just under 34 minutes.

Overall, I liked this workout, which I see as a combination of Voight's Total Body Toning and the Stott Power Fitness Circle workouts. Because Ana does not provide much form instruction, this would not be a good videos for those new to Pilates. However, more experienced Pilates practitioners might find the workout a bit boring at times: although Ana moves briskly from one exercise to the next, the exercises themselves often move rather slowly. Although I would have preferred the video to move a bit more quickly and to have been a bit shorter as a result, I still feel that this is a good choice for those looking to incorporate the bodyring into their Pilates work.

Instructor Comments:
I generally find Ana to be a warm, likeable instructor, although I think her personality gets lost in the voiceover--I prefer her live instruction. Also, Ana focuses less on form here than in her toher videos. Her assistant Tara again joins Ana for the workout, but she does not provide any modifications; also, I noticed with amusement that the credits have updated Tara's title from "Pilates Student" (how it appeared in Ana's original videos) to "Pilates Partner."

Beth C (aka toaster)