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  • Amy Adams

5 BASIC PRINCIPLES OF PILATES

Updated: Sep 6, 2021



We are proudly STOTT Pilates trained at The Mobile Physio. We get a lot of questions around the benefits of Pilates and if there are any tips to get the most out of a Pilates exercise programme.


Through evidence based research, there have been multiple benefits of Pilates including:

1. Increase in core strength to prevent lower back /spinal pain and injury

2. Decrease falls risk

3. Increase in abdominal endurance, cardio and stabilisation


Here are the 5 basic principles we use to optimise our clients Pilates experience and to ensure a sounds understanding of their exercise programme


1. Breathing

Breathing properly promotes effective oxygenation of the blood, focuses the mind on each task and helps avoid unnecessary tension, particularly in the neck, shoulders and mid-back. Exhaling deeply can also help activate the deep support muscles of the body


2. Pelvic placement

It is key to emphasise stabilisation of the pelvis and lumbar spine both statically and dynamically in all positions and throughout all movements. The two positions most often used are neutral and imprint. In a neutral position, the natural anteriorly convex curve of the lumbar spine is present. In most cases, when lying supine, the triangle formed by the ASIS and the symphysis pubis should be parallel to the Mat. This is the most stable and optimal shock absorbing position and a good place from which to promote efficient movement patterns


3. Rib cage placement

The abdominal wall attaches to the lower ribs. The abdominal muscles must often be recruited to maintain the rib cage and the thoracic spine, in proper alignment. Often the rib cage will tend to lift up in the supine position or deviate forward in a sitting position, extending the thoracic spine. Pay particular attention while inhaling or elevating the arms. Engagement of the obliques will ensure proper alignment at all times


4. Scapular movement and stabilisation

Stabilising scapulae on the rib cage is as important as contracting the abdominal muscles during the initiation of every exercise. When stability is absent, there is a tendency to overwork muscles around the neck and shoulders


5. Head and cervical placement

The cervical spine should hold its natural curve with the skull balancing directly above the shoulders when sitting in neutral. This position should also be maintained when lying on the back. If there is a kyphosis or forward head posture, pads or pillows under the head may be necessary to support the head, and prevent overextension and unnecessary tension in the cervical spine,


Get in contact today to start incorporating Pilates exercises into your rehabilitation programme! With it's wide known benefits, we guarantee you will leave feeling energised, stronger and more flexible.




The Mobile Physio is based in North Auckland serving the suburbs of the North Shore including Browns Bay, Albany, Torbay, Takapuna, Glenfield, Milford, Birkenhead and surrounding areas.

Central Auckland suburbs include: Ponsonby, Pt Chevalier, Remuera, Epsom, Mission Bay and surrounding areas.


#mobilephysio #aucklandphysio #physioblog


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