Breathe For A Strong Core

Breathe for core strength

Did you know that your breathing muscles are part of your “core”?

The term core strength gets used a lot these days with most people thinking of their abdominal muscles being their “core”.

Pilates core strength is so much more than abdominals, it involves all the muscles of the body working in complete coordination and balance which includes the breathing muscles.

When you first start pilates, learning the breathing technique takes patience, practice and perseverance but is worth the effort.

Without control of the breath, the deep postural muscles don’t get activated in an effective and efficient manner and, yes, you can get the bigger core strength muscles strong without Pilates breathing, but that doesn’t create postural integrity in the body.

Pilates breathing stretches and releases tension from the spine, making it easier to move your body and create flowing, precise movement that contributes to creating great, upright posture.

That’s why BREATH is a foundation principle of the pilates method of strength training and why Joseph Pilates developed exercises that specifically worked these muscles.

So how do you master the Pilates breathing technique?

It can be a bit tricky to wrap your head around in the beginning, so the first step is to have your individual breathing patterns assessed by a pilates professional, and then have the breathing technique reinforced continuously until it becomes an ingrained pattern.

Next step is to apply the breathing technique to movement, coordinating the breath with pilates core strength exercises. To do this, there needs to be a high level of concentration, and an understanding that the breath is what activates your “core” and facilitates movement.

And then…relax!!! As soon as your body gets tense, your breath will either stop or not be as effective. Holding your breath creates tension in the body and tension is the enemy of movement…even when you are doing a challenging exercise like a pilates teaser.

The added bonus of mastering pilates breathing is the release of stress and tension from the body, and the reason so many people leave a pilates class feeling lighter and uplifted with a relaxed mind.  

The actual technique itself is relatively simply, but there is a steep learning curve once you start applying it to core strength development.

So as Joseph Pilates states, you should never sacrifice knowledge for speed in building your pilates regime. He always thought of his exercise method as a vehicle for quality of life for the duration of life.

And we agree!

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