Attention to details brings success with Pilates

spine-twistWhen very fit individuals come to our studio for their first Pilates experience, we often hear “my abs are really strong and I’m super-fit, so I want a hard workout.” So they take a class or a private, and while the instructor tries to cue them to follow proper technique and work more deeply, their mind is fixed on a “feeling” delivered by another workout and NOT focused on Pilates. So sometimes, Pilates can be a disappointment! Well, by the logic of “my abs are really strong and I’m super fit, so….”, we should walk into a martial arts studio and say “we can kick (from our Rockette days) and we’re strong (thanks to Pilates), so just put us with the black belts.”

That’s hilarious, right?! I hope you got a good laugh out of that. True, “fit” individuals may progress faster than others at a new endeavor, but everyone must adopt a beginner’s mindset when starting a new activity if they want to see results. Though there are exceptions, people who don’t see results, usually didn’t take the time to learn the proper way to do it. Every sport or dance style — or almost every activity, really — has a technique that should be followed to achieve maximum results. From a golf swing to a quarterback’s throw, from a hurdler’s leap to a pirouette, some expert in the field has taken the time to document the proper biomechanics that make the ball go further or the hurdler go faster or the dancer turn beautifully.

This week we’ll focus on different aspects of Pilates technique from pelvic placement to ribs to shoulders, but until then, here are some general tips you can follow:

1. SLOW DOWN! Don’t speed through your Pilates session. Slower is harder. Faster is easier. breathing deeply and fluidly (no grunting!) may help with this.

2. Listen to your instructor and follow their cues. Could you pull your abs in more? Are your shoulders down?

3. Think QUALITY not QUANTITY: are you stretching your legs fully? are you pulling your abs in as much as possible?

4. STOP if something hurts. Pilates is not meant to hurt. If your neck hurts, set your head down. If your hip flexors are gripping, rest.

If you’re just aching to have more info now, please log onto and watch the technique video on the training page. (You must be a “basic member” to do this, but basic membership is absolutely FREE!! Ultimate Pilates Workouts offers free and unlimited access to full-length Pilates workouts! Free Pilates workouts online! Create your own cutomized Pilates DVD! And, it’s perfect for all levels!) And try the Spine Twist….an exercise that seems very simple when done improperly, but when done well, can really make you feel your abs!


March 6, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, Postings.

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