Pilates, which is well-known for emphasizing core strength and regulated movements, gives breathing a lot of weight. Gaining proficiency in appropriate breathing techniques will improve the efficiency of your Pilates exercises. To fully realize the transforming power of Pilates, we will examine three key strategies to control your breathing during the practice in this book.

Diaphragmatic Breathing: The Foundation of Pilates Technique

The fundamental technique of Pilates is diaphragmatic breathing, also known as “breathing into the ribs.” By using this technique, one can extend the ribcage and fill the lungs with air by taking a deep breath via the nose. Using your pursed lips to exhale, contract your deep abdominal muscles and pull your navel inside into your spine. In addition to stabilizing the core and increasing oxygenation efficiency, diaphragmatic breathing offers a solid base for Pilates exercises.

Tip: Before adding diaphragmatic breathing to your Pilates exercise, practice it while sitting or lying down. With every breath, pay attention to the expansion and contraction of your rib cage.

Learn Three Ways to Control Breathing During Pilates

Rhythmic Breathing: Syncing Breath with Movement

 For fluidity and control in Pilates, breathing rhythmically with movement is crucial. Breathe in a rhythm that corresponds with the speed at which you are performing your workouts. For example, exhale to engage your core and help with the movement during the intensity part of an activity (like the upward movement in a Pilates roll-up). When the exercise is in its release or less strenuous phase, take a breath. Better oxygen delivery to your muscles as a result of this synchronization increases endurance and encourages deliberate action.

Tip: Be mindful of the pace of your Pilates practice. Try out several breathing patterns until you discover one that works for the tempo of your workouts.

Lateral Breathing: Expanding the Ribcage for Stability

The goal of lateral breathing is to provide a three-dimensional breath by stretching the ribcage laterally. Take a big breath in and let it fill your chest from front to back as well as the sides and rear. By improving the intercostal muscles’ activation, this practice helps to stabilize the torso. Exercises like the Pilates saw and spine twist, which require the spine to be rotated or twisted, are especially good for lateral breathing.

Tip: Envision your breath surrounding your rib cage like a balloon. As you inhale deeply, place your hands on the sides of your ribs to feel the expansion.

One of the most important aspects of Pilates is breathing, which powers our motions with vital force. You can improve your Pilates practice by becoming proficient in these three breathing methods: lateral breathing, rhythmic breathing, and diaphragmatic breathing. Gradually add these methods to your routine, letting your breath direct and improve the accuracy and fluidity of each movement. You’ll learn how to fully utilize the transforming power of controlled breathing to unleash the potential of your Pilates practice as you develop a mindful link between breath and motion.


Read more: Is Doing Weights and Pilates Considered Overtraining?


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