Home / System Pilates: exercises and basic principles

System Pilates: exercises and basic principles

In our vast system of improvement of body and mind called Pilates began to gain popularity recently. First as a fashion trend, and later because of its unique properties it has become a mandatory program for each fitness center. Pilates differs from other systems by its complex effect on the entire body and almost complete absence of any contraindications. Therefore, to begin to strengthen the body with Pilates can people of all ages with any physical form.

Pilates — the history of the emergence

Джозеф ПилатесThe Creator of this system of physical exercises was a German physician Joseph Pilates. From birth having a very poor health and not being able to engage in active sports, young Joseph already to 14 years has developed its own system of training, which allowed him to win all the childhood diseases and to acquire excellent physical shape.

The emergence of Pilates as an independent system of physical development has already occurred in the United States, where Joseph had migrated in 1926. That's when all the developed exercises were systematized and integrated into a single program. After that Pilates begins its triumphant March around the world, gaining millions of fans.

Curiously, created by Joseph Pilates, the system proved so effective and easy to learn that its even included in the official program of rehabilitation of wounded soldiers. Her very well received and the athletes who needed to maintain muscle form, avoiding the collection of excess mass.

The basic principles of Pilates

This system implies the following basic principles laid down by its Creator.

Proper breathing

It is a mandatory condition without which it is impossible to achieve any significant results. Unlike other popular systems the development of the body, Pilates does not focus on active breathing techniques, such as abdominal breathing. Breathing should be easy and happen in the usual human rhythm.

The main condition is the contents of the abdominal muscles in tension, so they did not participate in the respiratory process. Ideally, breathing should not affect the position of the body (involuntary movement of the abdomen, shoulder girdle, etc.).


The main task involved is to create a stabilizing force belt in the abdominal area. Supporting the muscles in this area are in constant tension cannot reliably stabilize the entire spine, including the most movable lumbar. This condition is also very important because if it is not performed, some exercises can cause injury.


Himself Joseph Pilates has repeatedly focused attention on the importance of proper exercise technique. According to him, only the correctly delivered equipment can guarantee the results of training, but one exercise is done correctly, brings more profit than a complex exercise executed with errors. Therefore all his attention should be paid to it.


This principle is absolute concentration on every movement. Dealing required in advance to mentally draw all of its current program and implement it flawlessly never losing focus on the process.

Muscle control

For Pilates, it is extremely important to achieve absolute control of the consciousness over the body. In this case it is necessary to reflex action of the muscles does not prevent the correct execution of exercises. Moreover, the whole process should be as natural. Stress and muscle pain, as well as the need for strengthened control of the breath say that muscle balance is still not reached, and the athlete too quickly moved from simple exercises to complex.


This principle is similar to those on which the traditional Oriental gymnastics — all of the individual movements are performed easily and smoothly, as if flowing into each other. This allows you to keep muscle cells in good shape throughout the class.

Impact localization

The essence of thisthe principle is to teach the body to use only those muscles necessary for the exercise. Idle muscles at this time must be in a static position and relax. Fully understanding this technique, one learns to maximize the efficient use of energy resources of the organism, therefore, further transition to more difficult exercises is given to him without much difficulty.


In this case, quality is always preferable to quantity. Better to flawlessly execute a few basic exercises and this will ensure a more rapid progress than the improper execution of the complex.

Regular classes

The frequency of exercise does not play a special role. The lessons can be held every day, three times a week, and some enough for two. The main thing is to do it systematically. Choosing the program best to focus on your feelings. The body itself will tell you what a burden for him to be the most acceptable.

The main advantages of Pilates

The benefit of Pilates is hard to overestimate. Its main advantage over traditional techniques lies in the deep study of all body muscles without visibly increasing their mass and volume. For fitness or standard cardio or strength training often, the entire burden falls only on certain muscle groups at a time as smaller muscle stabilizers remain even without it.

In addition, Pilates is also and medical therapy. This system is suitable for everyone and can significantly improve the quality of life of people suffering from scoliosis, osteochondrosis and other similar problems.

Most popular exercises

Exercise "plank" (eng. The Plank) for beginners

The Plank

It's a kind of calling card for Pilates. This exercise is basic and based on it created a number of variations, designed for people with different physical abilities — from green beginners to seasoned athletes. The classic exercise "plank" consists of several steps:

  1. Leaning on the forearm, you must get on all fours, place the elbows under the shoulders.
  2. Next you need to pull the body in a straight line, resting on the toes.
  3. Continue to keep the body in a given position.
  4. Try to involve the stomach and stay in the busy position as long as the breath begins to stray, and muscles get tired.

Exercise "the Hundred" (eng. The Hundred) experienced athletes

Сотня упражнение

This exercise is suitable for those who already have a more or less good physical shape. It is though not too quickly, but efficiently working on the abdominal muscles, therefore, wishing to get a good strong press is necessary to pay attention to it. Instructions for its execution as follows:

  1. You need to lie on your back and slightly raise your head.
  2. Suck in your stomach and hold your arms out in front of him.
  3. Bringing feet together and pulling socks forward raise the legs at a 45 degree angle.
  4. To perform a series of short movements up-down, representing the strokes on the water. All is done in five repetitions on the inhale and same on the exhale.

Just made a hundred of such movements, what is actually happening the name of the exercise.

Recommendations for beginners

Can novices engage in the system of Pilates yourself? We can say that there are no contraindications at this point. At the moment the world wide web you can find lots of photos and videos devoted to the topic, so everyone can make for themselves a programme of action.

Although, of course, far preferable if the first exercise a beginner will perform under the supervision of a qualified coach. This will give him the opportunity to get a clear idea about the proper technique of performing exercises, after which the lessons can continue at home. Also, the coach can more adequately assess the physical abilities of a person and pick up a set of exercises so that the load is increased uniformly, ensuring constant progress.

As for equipment, the basic condition isit is a comfort. Preferably choose to practice loose clothes made of cotton. Shoes better to choose the most lightweight with thin flexible soles, and if you want to do without it. In fact, according to experts, playing barefoot provide a better influence on active points and further strengthen the arch of the foot, increasing the impact of exercise.

Pilates is, without exaggeration, a unique development system of the body. Everyone who decides to experience it for yourself, you will get the most out of no matter who it is, a simple follower of a healthy lifestyle or a seasoned athlete. After all, the main purpose of Pilates is not to burn fat or to "pump" the mighty muscles. The essence of this system is the harmonious development of the human body and strengthening its natural ability to regenerate and recover, so practicing Pilates everyone can become more robust, hardy and healthy.