Principles of Pilates

Pilates technique is based on eight principles which form the basis of each session.  Pilates has become known as a ‘mind-body’ form of exercise and the principles below sum up many of the reasons why and the benefits that most people find from regular practice.

Concentration – Pilates has been called the ‘thinking way of moving’ because each movement is controlled by focussed thought. Unlike other exercise systems where you can let your mind wander you really have to focus on the technique which means that most people find the method very relaxing.

Breathing – correct breathing is a major part of the technique although most people find it the hardest to master. It doesn’t matter at first and I always reassure beginners that as long as they keep breathing atthe start that is the main thing! However as you begin to master the breathing you will discover how beneficial it is.

Centring – Pilates technique uses our ‘core muscles’ which are also known as our centre. All the movements are controlled from our core and as we strengthen these muscles so our posture improves.

Control – Each exercise is done with slow, controlled movement working against gravity to improve our overall strength.

Precision – Each exercise starts in a specific position which ultimately means that each movement is performed with precise technique.

Flowing Movements – Each exercise is performed with control and precision but also as one continuous flowing movement in order to work the body through a full range of motion.

Isolation – Each person will feel each exercise in a slightly different way depending on their own strengths or weaknesses. As you become practiced at the technique you will learn to isolate specific muscles and target certain areas of the body.

Routine – As with any other activity your skill level in Pilates will increase with regular practice. However, Pilates is not designed to be the only exercise you do rather it should complement any training program and strengthen your body for any activity you require. Pilates is a great way to start exercising, especially if you haven’t done anything for a while or are suffering from back problems.