skills are an essential part of the pilates technique to ensure that the mind is focused on what
you are doing and to block out all other thoughts. Some beginners may find this level of
concentration difficult particularly over a session of 45mins. The aim is to be able to focus on
each movement flowing into the next bringing body and mind together. Most pilates exercises are
undertaken to background music which can help with concentration and aid the thought
Breathing is one of
the most important underlying principles of pilates and ensures oxygen rich blood reaches
all your muscles in the body. Breathing can be particularly challenging for beginners, but the
general rule of thumb is to breathe out when making the greatest effort (muscle contraction). This
is also referred to lateral thoracic breathing whereby the we engage the deep abdominals and focus
breathing into the rib area. All pilates exercises are designed in combination with breathing
technique that enables the correct muscles to work and result in the required
Core stability has
become increasingly recognised as an important component of modern day fitness regimes. Four
key muscles make up the core: tranverse abdominals, multifidus muscles, pelvic floor and the
diaphragm. Every pilates exercise is intitiated from the contraction of these core muscles,
primarily the tranverse abdominals and the pelvic floor. Through out each exercise these muscles
should be contracted to 30% of their maximum strenght. This allows for the muscles to tbe
be trained for everyday activities such as walking or shopping.
A common mistake in all
aspects of fitness conditioning is the urgency to complete exercises quickly. When doing
pilates it is important that movements are slow, fluent and under control. Every exercise
should be controlled by the contraction of the deep abdominal muscles. Our bodies can have
tendency to speed movements up when exercises become difficult which can lead to poor form and
incorrect technique. A controlled movement involves making the relevent muscles and joints
work to their full capacity whilst at the same time not wasting any energy.
Good posture is a simple
but very important to maintain the many intricate structures in the back and spine healthy.
Having bad posture will prevent the body from functioning efficiently, and will also have an effect
on your balance and co-ordination. Modern day lifestyles mean that we are susceptable to bad
habits. This means that our bodies will accept it as normal and can cause a whole host of issues.
In pilates it is vital that we maintain a good posture throughout the exercises.
it is important
that when undertaking pilates individuals learn how to focus their mind and recognise areas of
tension within the body. Exercises can then be undertaken to release the tension and any
accompanying body part to ensure that movements are fluid and consistent.
Correct body alignment
is crucial and the positioning of the body and mastering techniques within Pilates is the key
to sound execution. It is important that the last repetition is as good as the first,
regardless of how fatigued the muscles are. In Pilates quality is far more important that
All pilates exercises must be carried out
in continous flowing movements which are slow and controlled. Each movement should
be smooth and graceful through the contraction and relaxation phases of the
Being aware of
which muscles are being used is vital to understand the goal of each exercise and to progress
exercises when ready. We learn our body's strengths and weaknesses, which in turn brings body
awareness, control and sounds execution