Pilates Basic Principles

Six Basic Principles of Pilates

Jospeh Pilates- 1912

Jospeh Pilates- 1912


Joseph Pilates had originally called Pilates "Contrology" which was focused on the mind/body/spirit connection. He came up with these 6 basic principles which all work together to help the body move and so that you get the most out of each exercise. Read below to find out what these six principles are. 

  1. Precision: In Pilates, awareness is maintained throughout each movement. There's a certain placement and alignment needed so that you are getting the full benefits out of the move. If you are unable to facilitate a move correctly, that's where a modification comes into play. Don't be afraid to ask your instructor for a modification. 
  2. Breath: Joseph Pilates emphasized using a full breathing cycle in his exercises. Most Pilates exercises coordinate with the breath with the movement. In Pilates, you breathe laterally through your ribs rather than "belly breathing". By breathing laterally, you are able to deeply engage in the core.
  3. Flow: Each Pilates move should be done with flow and grace. The energy used during an exercise connects all body parts making it a full body workout. 
  4. Centering: This concept is defined as physically bringing the focus to the center of the body, the powerhouse area known as the abdominals. By strengthening the core, it will help all of your muscles develop and properly function. 
  5. Concentration: If you bring your focus to the exercise and do it with precision, you will get the maximum benefits from each movement.
  6. Control: When performing a Pilates move you want to maximize the benefits by flowing through each move gracefully rather than powering through focusing on intensity and number of reps.

By becoming familiar with these principles, it will help you before you take your first Pilates class. If you have been doing Pilates for some time now, this may help you advance in your practice.