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  • Writer's pictureTomas Bittner

Pilates 5 Key Elements

Updated: Apr 25, 2020

Correct alignment is a key factor in modified rehab Pilates. Adopting accurate positioning at the beginning of the movement will achieve better and more efficient results #pilates #rehabpilates #algarve


Lie on your back with a small cushion or folded towel under your head. Your knees are bent at 90 degrees and your feet are hip distance apart. Place your arms by your side, widen your collarbones and allow the back of your ribcage to rest on the mat. Relax.

Pilates rest position
Pilates Rest Position


Correct breathing helps to improve recruitment of targeted muscles. Focus on breathing in wide and full into both sides and back of your ribcage. You will see the lower half of the ribcage expanding. Relax all muscles when exhaling. Aim to exhale when performing most exerting movement.


Centering refers to correct alignment and activation of deep abdominal, back muscles and pelvic floor.

Neutral spine position

Place your thumbs in your belly button and your fingertips on your pubic bones to form pelvic diamond. Tilt the diamond backwards to push your lower back into the mat and then tilt the diamond forwards to created arch in your lower back. Find the neutral midway position when the pelvic diamond rests flat like a tabletop.


Find the bony parts of your of your pelvis, then slide you fingertips an inc down and towards the midline. Gently press your finger tips into your abdominal muscles. Breath into your abdomen and imagine you want to push your finger tips upwards. Then you feel the correct engagement of the deep core muscles. Other helpful clues: "Gently draw in your lower tummy" or "Gently draw your hipbones away from each other".

Pelvic floor

Imagine the pelvic floor as a parachute running from the pubic bone at the front to the tailbone at the back. Gently draw your tailbone and pubic bones towards each other. Other helpful clue: "Imagine you need to pee but have to hold on".


When in the rest position, your ribcage is positioned directly over your pelvis. The entire back of the rib cage should rest naturally on the mat.


Poor shoulder alignment and stability can lead to number of painful conditions. Start in the rest position with your arms by your side. Widen your collarbones and gently draw your shoulder blades downwards towards your sit bones.


Maintaining the natural neck curve will help to prevent headaches and painful neck conditions. Lie in the rest position, place small pillow or folded towel under your head and gently bring your chin towards your chest while lengthening the back of your neck. Keep the muscles on the front of your neck and jaw relaxed.

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