The Pilates Principles: They maketh the Method
The six original principles of the Pilates Method are:
BREATHING – CENTREING – CONTROL – CONCENTRATION – FLOW – PRECISION
The Pilates Method is firmly founded in this set of principles that make the method what it is. The principles of the Pilates method not only bind the various Pilates method approaches together but the principles are the overriding philosophy bequeathed to us by the legendary Joseph Pilates.
This is the sixth and final of the articles where we are examining these Principles in greater depth so as to offer you a richer understanding of how they will guide you in your quest for Pilates health and happiness.
Remember, we are looking at the principles given in alphabetical order – they are all as important as each other!
Precision is to be exact, particular, correct. It creates efficiency and form, and the work is refined and perfected to create appropriate movement.
Precision separates Pilates from many other forms of exercise in it’s application to how correctly the work is performed and therefore how specific the whole body is positioned and functioning in each exercise. Joe Pilates used to say “Honor every movement!” He wanted the movements to be precisely done so that you would train your body to be the best it could be.
Joe was also adamant that a few precisely executed repetitions were worth a thousand sloppy or half-hearted movements. Therein is one of the reasons that when doing Pilates the repetitions are defined and kept to numbers that can be performed precisely, correctly and with maximum value, rather than doing endless repetitions with poor form that won’t offer the benefits and may offer the chance to injure oneself.
This Back Extension exercise is a lovely example of working with precision. From the set up of the starting position to the precise range of movement and holding of the body – this will work all the muscles from tips of the fingers all the way along the back of the body to the ends of your toes, with maximum value for effort. Do this exercise – aiming for just as much precision – to strengthen the muscles that will keep you upright throughout life.
Working for the precision of all movements in Pilates keeps you aware, focused, in control and concentrating, centred, and keeping the movement fluid. Just remember to breathe and you will have all the Pilates principles beautifully in play!
“Honour every movement” – Joseph Pilates