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How to breathe properly during Pilates

20th September, 2015

Correct breathing for pilates

If you struggle with the breathing during Pilates then you’re are in good company!

As a beginner it can seem ‘back to front’ to begin with so it’s really common to find yourself breathing out when your teacher is telling everyone to breathe in.

It can also be a challenge to change the way you breathe because lots of people let their shoulders rise and fall while breathing in and out and so expanding your ribs to the side when you draw in a breath (lateral breathing) can feel unnatural.

However, there are a few of good reasons for persevering with the ‘proper breathing’ as you practice …

  1. Breathing into the base of your ribs makes it easier to keep a consistent tightness in your abdominal muscles that makes the exercises more effective overall.
  2. Breathing out on the effortful part of the movement increases the muscle activity in your deep abdominals to protect your back.
  3. It will stop you from holding your breathe during the hard bits!

A good way to practice is to place your hands on either side of the bottom of your ribcage and press in gently. Breathe in and think about moving your hands by expanding your ribs outwards. Let your ribcage relax as you breathe out.

When you get the hang of this try tightening your core as you breathe out and then hold consistently as you practice the lateral breathing pattern.

Correcting your posture will also help – click on this link to read more about this:

How to correct your posture in standing