To take full advantages of a Pilates class, it’s important to remember that form matters. Unfortunately, form mistakes (which everyone is guilty of at some point!) negate the purpose of the exercise. Form mistakes also allow opportunities for injuries to occur. That’s why you might hear us repeating ourselves, reminding everyone to focus on form.
These are some of the most of the common mistakes we see in our Pilates classes, and why everyone should avoid them at all cost:
Bracing, not breathing
Pilates uses different styles of breathing, and it can get confusing. The main breathing technique is lateral thoracic, which involves breathing into your ribs and into your side, so your chest almost looks like an according opening. Using your breath helps you to use your core correctly.
Faking your pelvic floor ‘zip’
At first, it’s hard to know if you’re working your pelvic floor correctly! It’s really important to make sure you don’t move your pelvic floor, which is a common cheat. Another one that’s tricky is telling the difference between squeezing and zipping the pelvic floor. To feel when it’s working, place your fingers on your hip at the top of your pelvic bone and go inside the bone and down a bit. Feel the difference between being relaxed and then after engaging your core.
Doing what you like and not what you need
Like any exercise, there will be certain Pilates exercises you’ll love doing and others not so much. However, choosing the exercises our body needs instead of the ones we like is crucial for our healthier bodies. For example, if you’re sitting at your desk all day at work, you might benefit from some back extensions to reverse the crunching position you’ve been most of the day.
Forgetting your alignment
Pilates centers around alignment. It’s based on everything: the position of your feet, your hands… every single inch of your body should be in perfect alignment! Most importantly, in Pilates you should be able to be in total control of your head, your rib cage and your pelvis because they’re your three main body weights. Once you learn to control these, you will be using your center properly.