How To Breathe When Doing Pilates

By Max. D Gray. Updated: May 15, 2019
How To Breathe When Doing Pilates

The Pilates method, created by Joseph H. Pilates, is a comprehensive discipline of gymnastics that aims to exercise the body and the mind. Despite being related to yoga Pilates exercises can become very intense in response to the discipline's different levels. Some sets are practised on the ground, others use devices such as a fitball, a bosu or other kinds of balls whilst other sets are practised on a reformer machine. Next I will give you some tips so you learn how to breathe when doing Pilates.

You'll need:
You may also be interested in: How to do beginners' pilates at home
Steps to follow:

Look for a Pilates centre where classes are carried out in small groups. If you practice Pilates in a gym you can run the risk of injury because classes are never personalized.


Perform the exercises in front of a mirror. This way you can correct your posture and gain control over your body more effectively.


To learn how to breathe when doing Pilates correctly is the most important element when you start doing Pilates. This will ensure the success and intensity of your workouts and quickly make the fitness work out visible on your body.

How To Breathe When Doing Pilates - Step 3

Breathing in this way will not only help you get more muscle but will also make you relax and avoid stress.


For this the class instructor will make you lie on a mat on the floor, placing your hips in a neutral position. You can practice the breathing with your legs straight or bent.


A good diaphragmatic breathing consists in breathing in through the nose and exhaling through your mouth tightly, as if you were breathing on a mirror to steam it up, closing your ribs and chest and squeezing your waist inward, as if wearing trousers that are one size too small.

How To Breathe When Doing Pilates - Step 6

If you have done it correctly you will have made noise when breathing out. Think about bringing your navel toward your spine.


Place your hands on the sides of your ribs to notice how they swell and learn to drive the air towards these side points, so avoiding opening the ribs upwards.


Make use of the fitball. Lie face down hugging the ball and breathing in take in the air to the side area of your ribs. You will notice as it opens and stretches the back area.

How To Breathe When Doing Pilates - Step 9

If you have trouble learning to expel air with force, stand in front of a mirror and fog it by breathing out onto it. Remember that feeling while you work in Pilates.


Once you know how to breathe you can perform the 'hundred'. Remember that this should apply to all types of breathing exercises.


The hundred is a classic Pilates exercise that takes place at the beginning of class to warm up; this involves working the respiratory muscles, the abdominal area, arms and shoulders. The exercise requires performing 100 breaths (hence its name) while pumping the arms as you breathe in and out in intervals of 5 repetitions.

How To Breathe When Doing Pilates - Step 12

What are the benefits of pilates?

  • Breathing plays a key role in the practice of Pilates and is one of its main elements. The movements are harmonious and in tune with breathing consciously, so practicing Pilates often improves our respiratory capacity, and it is a good exercise for those who suffer from health problems linked to this.
  • Pilates exercises, although our whole body is working, focus on what its inventor, Joseph H. Pilates, called the powerhouse, which is only the lower torso area. So Pilates exercises strengthen this very important area, helping to prevent and improve aches and pains in the back.
  • After a few weeks practicing Pilates, the abdomen area is often obviously strengthened. This is one of the main benefits of this practice, which helps us maintain balance by strengthening the back muscles and abdomen.
  • With the repetition of exercises controlled harmoniously, our joints benefit and improve significantly. Besides, Pilates is a great way to increase flexibility and muscle health. All this helps to reduce the possibility of injuring ourselves and is a great alternative for athletes.
  • Thanks to the technique concentrated in the trunk area, it is also a great exercise for correcting our posture, improving back and neck discomfort and promoting balance.
  • Pilates is a leading practice to reduce stress, thanks to the high concentration levels required. Breathing work and repetition of exercises that make us healthy help eliminate stress and foster self-esteem. And in the long-term, Pilates is reflected in our figures, helping us have a more toned general musculature, especially the abdomen, back and buttocks. oreover, pilates is an exercise that will inforce your determination, as it takes time to get better and it will become a challenge for you to reach higher levels of expertise.

If you want to read similar articles to How To Breathe When Doing Pilates, we recommend you visit our Fitness category.

  • Remember to wear comfortable clothes and to put your hair up.

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