FORM: Why it Matters in Pilates

Form is the MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF PILATES.  Joseph Pilates had a very intention about his work, let’s take a look at the entire quote.

“Concentrate on the correct movements, EACH TIME YOU EXERCISE, lest you do them improperly and thus lose all the vital benefits of their value.  Correctly executed and master to the point of subconscious reaction, these exercises will reflect grace and balance in your routine activities.” Joseph Pilates.

If the client performs the exercises in poor form they will not get the benefits.  WHY?

1.  Movement isn’t just movement…. Elite athletes spend their entire careers trying to become more efficient and precise in each of their movements to stay healthy, play longer, and deepen the mind body connection.  In order to access the fascia you the movement has to be dynamic and energized in 3-dimensions.

2.  Corrections — If the movement patterns aren’t corrected the body will deepen into patterns of dysfunction.  Corrections need to be both verbal and tactile (hands on).   Example, a hyper mobile client that contiguously over extends their joints, the pull will go into the tendons and fascia — causing inflammation and pain as a result of poor movement. 

3.  Demonstration — Demonstration helps a client understand the movement (most people are visual learners),  and as a teacher you are owning your craft – your practice of good movement quality is powerful.  

4.  Repetition / Repetition / Repetition – The client needs to know in their body the names of the exercises, body positions (flexion, extension, rotation, lateral flexion, front body, back body, side body) and mechanics of all the classical or TRUE PILATES work before moving into variations.  I am speaking to the conditioned client without health issues (AS TRUE PILATES, is not for everyone as some movements are contraindicated for osteoporosis, diabetes, heart conditions, auto immune diseases, etc.) 

5.  Responsibility for LEARNING — The client needs to take part in the work.  As a dancer, my teacher taught  me the foundations of dance (contemporary, jazz, and ballet) techniques.  It was my job to take ownership of the material – practice and commit it to my body.  Pilates is the same, 34 Mat exercises and 30 Reformer — these are the essential for clients to  “master to the point of subconscious reaction” ( I love all the equipment, mat and reformer are a great place to start)  The client needs to to know the what and why of each exercise.

Privates — This is the absolute best way for clients to learn the basics.  When clients have started this way, they progress quicker, have a strong foundation and I know their body and issues to help them especially if they transition into class setting. I also then suggest tune up sessions for privates if the client transitions to group setting.

I love sharing teaching TIPS and discussing Fascia and it’s relationship to Pilates Exercises. Join my mailing list or email me at

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