Pilates is an amazing way to strengthen and tone your body without excessive stress on your joints. If you’re looking to maximize your time in Pilates class, it’s best to understand the 6 principles of Pilates. In this complete guide to Pilates principles, we’ll go over everything you need to know to deepen your Pilates practice. Lastly, we’ll highlight the most important principle in Pilates.
What are the 6 principles of Pilates?
Pilates is a form of exercise that emphasizes controlled movement and proper alignment. The six principles of Pilates are breath, concentration, control, precision, flow, and centering.
Breath is how you breathe during your workout. Pilates teaches you to breathe deeply and fully, using your diaphragm rather than shallower chest breathing. This helps to oxygenate your blood and improve your overall athletic performance. Using an exhale during difficult moments of the exercise can give power to your movement. Your instructor may cue you with specific breathing patterns to get the most out of your workout. Some exercises, like ‘The Hundred”, have an intentional breathing rhythm to move you through the exercise.
Concentration is the focus required to perform the exercises correctly. Each movement must be done with intention and attention in order to maximize its effectiveness. As your advance in your Pilates practice, the movements become more complicated, requiring further concentration. Additionally, working on the Pilates apparatus calls upon your concentration to stay safe while exercising.
Control means moving slowly and smoothly, without jerking or bouncing. All movements should be done under control, with your core muscles working to stabilize your body.
Precision is doing each movement with the correct form and alignment. This helps to ensure that you are working the right muscles and reduces the risk of injury. Working with both concentration and control helps increase the precision of movement.
Flow refers to the continuous, flowing nature of the movements. One movement should flow smoothly into the next, creating a “flow” state that is both efficient and elegant. When practicing with flow, Pilates should feel good on the body. It’s an enjoyable experience while challenging at the same time.
Centering refers to using your “center” or “core” strength. All movements should originate from the center of your body, creating a strong stable foundation from which to move. By incorporating these six principles into your practice, you can maximize the benefits of Pilates and get the most out of your workout.
What is the most important principle in Pilates?
While all 6 principles of Pilates are important, the most important principle in Pilates is centering. Being centered in Pilates is working from your core muscles. Your core is your powerhouse from which all movement originates in Pilates. In order to achieve proper centering, you must engage your deep abdominal muscles and maintain a tall spine. From this position, you’ll be able to move your limbs with increased control and precision.
Pilates is a fun, safe, and effective method of exercise for people of all ages and levels. With a solid understanding of the 6 principles of Pilates, you can deepen your Pilates practice and maximize your results. Join a Pilates class at ProHealth Physical Therapy and Pilates in Peachtree City, GA to experience all that Pilates has to offer.