Magic Circle on a Chair

Magic Circle for People who Sit in Chairs

Magic Circle for People who Sit in Chairs


This post is useful for all people who find that they have to sit for longer periods of time in any kind of chair.  Sitting for a long time in a chair and especially for extended periods of time will allow gravity to take over – especially if we are unable to get up and just have a walk around!

So in this short series of exercises, we’ll be focusing on pelvic positioning in relation to the spine, shoulder mobility and strengthening and alignmetn of the head.  All of these will have a positive effect on the length of the waist.



Before anything, here is a list of the exercises (PDF): click here


Gravity can have several effects on people who sit:

  • shortening of the waist: the ribs get closer and closer to the hip bones (ASIS) and as a consequence, our
  • lower spine (lumbar) takes on a convex curve as opposed to it’s natural concave curve and our
  • shoulders have a tendency to collapse forwards, compressing the chest and our
  • head tends to move forward out of alignment.

… phew!


And this has a tendency to worsen over time!  Imagine in your mind’s eye a frail person sitting in a chair and there you have a good image of the above.  Why not sit in a chair and try it out for yourself?


This short series of exercises is designed to help counteract these effects.  It’s not an exhaustive workout, but it will help you to get started!  Depending on your mobility, you may have to adapt some exercises to make them more accessible to your body and that’s perfectly fine!


We begin with Pelvis Rocking to become more aware of the orientation of our pelvis and consequently, the curve of our spine.  We add breathing to enhance the effect of the Pelvis Rocking and carry this forwards into some of the later exercises.


Then we add the Magic Circle working both straight on and in rotation to work the oblique muscles – which as well as assisting in our rotation have a vital function in lengthening the waist.


We then work sideways, to resist the effect of sideways collapsing of the waist and from our shoulders.  This has the effect of getting our first bit of shoulder mobilisation.


Shoulder Work continues with stretching of the front of the shoulder capsule straight on, with side bends and rotations both having the effect of waist lengthening.


Following that,we go into scapular mobilisations forwards and backwards (protraction and retraction) and up and down (elevation and depression)


Finally comes alignment of the head and neck strengthening exercises.


Happy Pilatesing 🙂

Miguel 🙂


Ps. If you have any comments, questions or requests, leave a comment below, or get in touch …

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