7th June 2018

The 8 Pilates Principles

These are the principles that are generally and universally applied but, in reality and in the commercial world, there is great variation in teaching style and techniques.

Pilates teaches us to train our local muscles before our global muscles.

The eight principles are:-

CONCENTRATION
BREATHING
CENTRING
CONTROL
PRECISION
FLUID AND FLOWING MOVEMENTS
ISOLATION
ROUTINE

CONCENTRATION

Pilates movements stem from conscious thoughts and focus. The mind body connection keeps us in the present and prevents us drifting into a daydream state and switching off from the program.

BREATHING

Breathing patterns can feel a little unnatural at first and therefore can be difficult to perfect – it is important to persevere until we master this. The general rule is to exhale on the effort. The breathing should be lateral and natural.

CENTRING

The back and the torso are often neglected in terms of detail in fitness teaching. In Pilates we work from the inside out, with the contraction of the deep abdominal muscles giving continuous stability, support and control as we move. An improved posture is beneficial to us all!

CONTROL

In Pilates we work slowly to reduce momentum and increase strength. We do not count or set a specific tempo (as in dance, for example) – an individual’s length of breath will dictate the speed of their movements. Working against gravity will also increase the strength we gain.

PRECISION

To repeatedly practice a movement perfectly and exactly is the route to achieving controlled, exact and precise execution. We work the muscle, not fatigue it. It is preferable to perform 5 repetitions with exact and perfect execution then 15 repetitions with poor form.

FLOWING AND FLUID MOVEMENTS

In Pilates we use fluid and continuous movements with the same range, execution and speed. We then develop balance in the mechanics of our movements. One move will seamlessly link to another with good transitions.

ISOLATION

Awareness of how our bodies are made, move and where they are “in space” allows us to focus on isolating specific muscle groups, having previously “switched on” our muscle (i.e. pelvic floor)

ROUTINE

Pilates is used to complement not replace other fitness programs.