8 tips to improve your Pilates practice

From Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Janhvi Kapoor and Katrina Kaif to Deepika Padukone, there is a long list of Bollywood celebrities who swear by Pilates. Pilates is a type of mind-body exercise that is not only adaptable but also practicable, safe, and useful for everyone, regardless of physical ability, medical conditions, age, gender, etc. The movements you make while doing Pilates need physical control, mental focus, proper breathing, and most importantly, moving slowly and steadily. Unlike other workouts, it doesn’t require you to exercise intensely. Here are some Pilates tips to help you make the most of its benefits.

New Delhi based fitness trainer Meenakshi Mohanty, who promotes a holistic and healthy lifestyle, explains how you can enhance your Pilates training.

Says Mohanty, “Known for its focus on core strength, flexibility and body awareness, Pilates offers numerous benefits for people of all fitness levels. If you are practicing it but not getting a significant result, here are some essential things to keep in mind to ensure a safe and rewarding experience.

Tips to improve the practice of Pilates

Here are some key considerations to enhance your Pilates journey:

1. Consult with a qualified instructor

Due to its immense popularity, signing up for Pilates sessions can seem like an exciting prospect for many people. However, before diving into Pilates, it is crucial to seek the guidance of a qualified instructor or physical therapist. An expert will assess her fitness level, discuss any specific concerns or injuries, and design a program to suit her individual needs. They will make sure you perform the exercises correctly, reducing the risk of injury and maximizing the effectiveness of your workouts.

Always consult an instructor before starting Pilates! Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Focus on core engagement and alignment

Core strength is a key aspect of Pilates. Throughout your practice, the focus will be on engaging the deep abdominal muscles, including the transversus abdominis, pelvic floor, and obliques. Maintaining a strong core will improve stability, improve posture, and prevent strain on other parts of the body. Also, since alignment plays a crucial role in Pilates, you need to ensure optimal muscle engagement and avoid unnecessary joint stress. Maintain a neutral spine, lengthen to the crown of the head, and distribute the weight evenly throughout the body.

3. Breathe

Breath control is an integral part of Pilates, so it’s ideal to start practicing mindful breathing before you begin. Inhale deeply through your nose and fully exhale through your mouth. Coordinate your breath with the movement, using the inhale to prepare and the exhale to engage your core and execute the exercise. Conscious breathing promotes relaxation, focus, and efficient oxygenation of the body.

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4. Stay hydrated and consistent

Like any physical activity, it’s important to stay hydrated during Pilates. Don’t forget to bring a bottle of water to your sessions and take sips as needed. Hydration helps maintain optimal bodily functions and supports muscle performance, which can be very helpful when following this routine.

5. Warm up

Always do a 10-15 minute warm up session before you start practicing your workouts. Due to the complexity of the Pilates routine, you want to make sure you incorporate some basic stretches that target every muscle in your body. You can try arm stretches, forward bends, side lunges, some squats, jumping jacks, wrist and neck rotations, palm flexes, biceps and triceps stretches, side pulls, back kicks, and knees. They will open up your muscle and help you perform Pilates exercises.

Also Read: Pilates 101: Namrata Purohit Debunks Myths Around Successful Workout

warm up before doing pilates
Always spend some time warming up before doing Pilates. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

3 mistakes to avoid when doing Pilates

1. Don’t rush

Before you begin, take some time to familiarize yourself with the basic principles of Pilates. These principles, which include concentration, control, centering, precision, breathing, and flow, form the foundation of the practice. Understanding these principles will help you approach Pilates with the right mindset and improve your overall experience. If you are new to Pilates, it is recommended to start with beginner level classes or private sessions. These introductory sessions will introduce you to the fundamental movements and techniques. Building a strong foundation in the basics will help you progress safely and effectively as you progress to more challenging exercises.

2. Don’t expect quick results

You may be deceived if you think that doing Pilates will give you immediate results. Everything takes time, and the goal of Pilates is to exercise comfortably. Although it might help you lose weight, don’t anticipate significant physical changes. Your muscles will first show the alteration and eventually you will start to see the weight loss.

3. Don’t ignore the signs

Listening to your body is a key aspect of any exercise routine, including Pilates. Respect the limits of your body and avoid overexerting yourself. If you feel anything painful or uncomfortable, stop and see your instructor. Pilates should challenge you, but should never cause undue stress or pain. In fact, spending more time on an exercise will likely make it more challenging and increase the level of difficulty and effectiveness.

tension during pilates
If you pull a muscle or strain, see your instructor and take it easy. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Also Read: Pilates 101: Namrata Purohit Debunks Myths Around Successful Workout


Pilates is not just about physical fitness; it’s also about establishing a strong mind-body connection and promoting overall well-being. Embrace the process, celebrate the small victories, and appreciate the positive changes you experience along the way. If you keep these considerations in mind, you will be well prepared to begin your practice. So get ready to embark on your Pilates journey and reap the benefits of this wonderful system of exercises!

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