Everything about Pilates: Benefits, Principles and How to Practice

The Pilates makes the difference in your health without harming your body. A method focused on the balanced development of the body, to a posture strong and efficient.

Everything about Pilates Benefits, Principles and How to Practice

The Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates and is now a recognized technique for the treatment and prevention of problems related with the spine.


The Pilates method was developed by Joseph Pilates at the beginning of the century. XX.

Joseph Pilates advocated that modern lifestyles, bad postures and breaths the disabled would lead to deficit or absence of health. In this sense, decided to create a set of exercises to stretch, strengthen and balance the body.

Thus, the pilates method is based on the conscious control of all muscular movements of the body, having the exercises suffered influences from Yoga, martial arts and meditation.

Indeed, pilates is in the correct use and application of the most important principles of the forces acting on each of the bones of the skeleton and in the full understanding of balance and gravity applied to each motion, in the active state, at rest or during sleep.

Concentration, centering, control, breath, precision and flow are the six principles of Pilates.

In this method, the majority of exercises are performed in lying position, in a sense to decrease the impact on joints of the body, particularly in the spine.

In this way, pilates allows the recovery of muscle, joint and ligaments, especially in the region sacrolombar.


For Joseph Pilates, the founder of modality, is at the Center of Strength of Pilates, which is also called the Powerhouse or core, which originates from the energy for all movement, since it is the center of gravity of the body.

In effect, the muscles that constitute the core support the spine, internal organs and posture, forming a cylinder of stability around the waist.

In pilates, this area is the most important part of the body, being the one that should be strengthened with the practice of this sport.

The four muscles that make up the center of strength of pilates are: the transverse of the abdomen, the perineum, the multifidus and the diaphragm.

The control of these deep muscles not only provides a greater definition and toning abdominal as decreases the incidence of pain and injury in the lumbar region, improves the functioning of the internal organs, balance, posture and stabilization of the body. In short, it improves the quality of life.

Finally, it should be noted that there are three important principles of the Center of Strength of Pilates that must be applied while practicing this modality: Alignment, Breathing and Activation of the core.


Being the pilates method focused on the balanced development of the body and a strong stance, brings countless benefits to your health, including:

  1. Exercise the body as a whole, promoting a strength gain and muscle development balanced.
  2. Strengthens the muscles essential to the support of the body, particularly the lumbar muscles, abdominal and pelvic, so that the neck and shoulders to relax and the rest of the muscles and joints to function in the most proper way.
  3. The body expresses itself with strength and harmony, something that is visible in the posture of those who practice this modality.
  4. With regular practice, you will lose weight, strengthen muscle mass and acquire a posture more correct.
  5. The exercises are safe, low impact to the joints.
  6. Increases muscle flexibility, mobility of joints and strengthens the bones, thus lowering the probability of injury.
  7. Improves breathing and blood circulation, contributing to greater vitality and good mood of the person practicing it.
  8. Develops concentration, allowing to extract greater benefits from the exercises.
  9. Pilates makes you lose weight?

As already mentioned, Pilates is an excellent exercise to increase flexibility, balance and muscle toning.

In this sense, when combined with a healthy diet and other physical activity that will promote a high caloric expenditure (cardio exercises), can help weight loss.

However, when used alone, this method is not very efficient for losing weight because it, by itself, does not stimulate a large loss of fat mass.

Specifically, with a 60-minute workout of Pilates can lose between 200 and 500 calories. To enhance these results, train at least 2 times per week.

Inside the Pilates, there are certain exercises that contribute more significantly to weight loss. Are they, the abdominal, the elevation of the hip, flexion of the arms, shear, rotation, and board side.

  1. Pilates equipment

The equipment pilates bring a greater dynamism to this modality, which, by itself, is already very complete.

As such, we will show you some of these equipment to be able to enrich your training.

  1. Swiss ball:Is the equipment more easy to try. The Swiss ball allows you to do a variety of exercises with numerous benefits for the body, as we will address later in this article.
    In addition has advantage of being very safe, and can be used by people of all ages and physical conditions.
  2. Magic Circle:Made of materials, such as rubber or a flexible metal, this ring is used to increase the degree of difficulty of the traditional exercises, while also helping to have a greater notion of the muscles that is to recruit each year.
  3. Reformer:This machine, through its 5 springs, allows you to set the degree of resistance to use as the exercise and the physical condition of the person.
    This way, it helps to work and correct the posture.
  4. Ladder Barrel:it Consists of a half-bow to which the body adapts, allowing movements of flexion, lateral flexion and extension of the column. Since no springs, requires a great control of the body and a lot of work at the level of the abdominal region and lower back.
  5. Cadillac:Created with the goal of helping bedridden patients to move the body without getting up, the cadillac is one of the equipment most beneficial to be able to work the entire body.
    Helps to improve the flexibility and mobility of the spine, in addition to tone and strengthen the body.
  6. Chair:This unit allows you to work with the weight of the body, thereby, strengthening both the upper and the lower part of the body. In addition, it helps to improve posture and well-being of the column, being very useful in injury recovery and relief of muscle pain.


According to the principle of concentration, it is the mind that controls the movement, so that the movements of Pilates are known as “smart moves”, as it required total concentration during its performance.

There are about 34 important movements of Pilates that will be inumerados then:

  1. Control balance Control balance
  2. Balance Sheet – Rocking
  3. Crab – Crab
  4. Seal – Seal
  5. Boomerang – Boomerang
  6. Side slope – Sidebend
  7. Side kick kneeling Side kick kneeling
  8. Elevation of the leg – Leg pull
  9. The elevation back of the leg – Leg pull front
  10. Swimming – Swimming
  11. Twist of hip – Hip twist
  12. Challenge – Teaser
  13. Side kick – Side kick
  14. Pocket knife – Jack knife
  15. Twist of the column – Spine twist
  16. Bridge on the shoulders – Shoulder bridge
  17. Bike in the air – Bicycle
  18. Scissors in the air – Scissors
  19. Pulled by the neck – Neck pull
  20. Kick with both legs – Double kick
  21. Kick with one leg – One leg kick
  22. Diving the swan – Swan dive
  23. Saw – Saw
  24. Corkscrew stopper – Corkscrew
  25. The bearing with the legs apart
  26. Elongation of the spine – Spine stretch
  27. Elongation of two legs – Double leg stretch
  28. Stretching one leg – One leg stretch
  29. Rolling back – Rolling back
  30. Circle with one leg – One leg circle
  31. Rolling over – rolling over
  32. Roller up – Roll up
  33. Hundred – The hundred
  34. Flexion of arms – Pushup
  35. Pilates exercises


Pilates exercises for the back help to increase the mobility and flexibility of the spine, through the stretching and relaxing of the cervical area and lumbar spine, as well as in the development of strength in the abdominal region. In this way, are a very useful tool to prevent injury and relieve pain in the back, which, currently, are cross-cutting to all ages.

In addition, they also promote good body posture and help to strengthen the core.


The exercises with the ball are ideal for working the body from the own weight, there is no need to use load to the realization of the movements.

Help tone and strengthen various muscle groups, including the abdominal zone and of the lower limbs and even assist in the relief of lumbar pain.

​Nevertheless, it is appropriate to note that the ball Pilates that uses must have the appropriate size, so as not to impair the posture. If you have difficulties in choosing, ask a specialist


In addition to the exercises with the ball, there are also exercises to do on the ground without the ball, that feature numerous benefits, including the toning of the abdominal area, strengthening of upper and lower limbs, correction of posture, increased energy and vitality, and the acceleration of the metabolism.


Many times, the lack of time or money is an excuse to not exercise.

However, pilates is an exception because there are a exercises, for example, only with a gym mat (mat), which can be practiced conveniently and economic, in the comfort of your own home.

While the practice is accompanied by a teacher can display results more quickly, it is possible to achieve results and enjoy the benefits of this sport by doing Pilates at home.

We leave you with some rules to practice this sport safely and enjoy all its benefits without leaving home:

  • Choose a quiet place, with light and without distractions.
  • Use proper equipment: wear comfortable clothes and perform the activities on a mat in fitness. Depending on the exercises, you may need extra equipment to assist in its execution, in particular a ball, as we will see next.
  • Do a warm-up: before you begin the pilates exercises you should perform a warm-up, how to jump to the rope to prevent injury.
  • Do not force the body beyond its abilities: make sure that the movements are performed in the correct manner, and without overloading any part of the body.
  • Be attentive to the breath: do not forget that the synchronization of the breath with the movements is one of the fundamental principles of pilates. As such, inspire by the nose, before doing the exercise, and exhale through the mouth, contracting the abdominal muscles while you run.
  • Do not stand still after the workout: after a session of Pilates, don’t lie down or sit on the couch watching tv. Take a walk or tidy up at home, so as to re-establish gradually the heart rate.


Stretching does not only prepare the body for the next training, but also promote the development of flexibility, improvement of posture, reduction of muscular tension and to improve blood circulation.

However, it is important to reinforce the idea that you should always respect the limitations of the body, as well as their abilities.

When well-made, the stretches promote a sense of relaxation is important for muscle recovery, and also to avoid stress or anxiety.

►Find out more about stretching of Pilates in the soil here.


There are a number of places, from the north to the south of the country, where you can try to practice pilates, including gyms and studios dedicated solely to this practice. In the latter, the conditions are best.

As such, we give you the know six studios where you can enjoy a professional and diverse backgrounds and of high quality:

  • The centre of halo therapies Braga (Braga)
  • Moksha Porto (Porto)
  • The Pilates Studio Portugal (Santarém)
  • Estúdio Pilates Filipa Mayer (Lisbon)
  • Dharana yogashala (Almada)
  • Serenity, the centre of health and well-being (Lagoa-Algarve)

In addition to the studios mentioned, here are a few more sites where you can find Pilates:

  • Pilates & Companhia – Braga
  • Port Pilates – Porto
  • Institute of Integrative Medicine Dr. Diogo Amorim – Coimbra
  • Club of Martial Arts of Albufeira – Albufeira

Specifically in Lisbon, you can practice Pilates in the following locations:

  • Wonderfeel – A new well-being
  • Jazzy Life Club
  • Stat
  • Work in studio
  • Office of Health


Clothes for pilates must meet a few requirements, because it is very important that you feel comfortable while practicing this modality.

Because pilates works a lot of flexibility, the clothes should be elastic to allow the execution of all the exercises of the sport.

On the other hand, such as pilates worry a lot about the posture, it is advisable to opt for clothes more tights that allow better view of the body and facilitate possible corrections on the part of the teacher.

Then, elencamos 8 places where you can buy clothes to practice pilates:

  • Zara
  • Decathlon
  • Botton
  • Sweaty Betty
  • Oysho
  • Underwater inc
  • Lululemon
  • H&M


Pilates has been widely used not only in sport, but also in clinical practice.

In fact, this modality can be an important tool in the treatment of clients at various levels, in particular with dysfunctions of the spinal column.

In this sense, are increasingly becoming the health care professionals attending the courses of Pilates, with the goal of rehabilitation in cases of pathology, and enable greater well-being and quality of life to the wearer.

Each course Pilates is a programme of theory and practical exercises, designed to help make your own body more efficient and to enable it to transmit this knowledge to others.

At the end of the course of Pilates, the learner may be able to teach this modality in a gym, studio, or even open your own business.

Where to find courses of pilates?

  • Promofitness – Port
  • Bwizer – Coimbra
  • Cefad – vocational training – Lisbon


The answer is simple: any person, regardless of sex or age, since, due to its versatility, this method allows that the practice is adapted to the needs and limitations of each person.

In fact, the true Pilates method is customized, so as to guarantee results to those who practice.

Thus, pilates can cover a large spectrum of people, from athletes of high competition for pregnant women, the elderly, the children, women to men with or without pathologies, postural (scoliosis, hyperlordosis, etc.) or other problems.

Subject to compliance with the limitations of each one, any person can and should practice pilates – with the exception of very young children by the level of concentration that is required in this mode.


The pilates is especially indicated in pregnancy, since this causes changes in the body of the woman, which are a result, many times, in pains in the lumbar region and changes in the muscles of the core.

In this sense, pilates strengthens and lengthens the abdominal muscles, the buttocks and lumbar area, helping to sustain better the spine, improve balance and posture and reducing any back pain.

On the other hand, is a form of the pregnant practice some physical exercise and take better control of your weight gain throughout pregnancy, which is very important for the future baby, as pregnant women who increase much weight are more likely to have children in the future will be overweight / obesity.

In addition, the pilates makes the childbirth easier and lessens the feeling of discomfort caused by the swelling characteristic of pregnancy, as well as prevents the appearance of edema and varicose veins, and to the extent that the active circulation.

The pregnant woman should, however, have some care, in the practice of this or any other modality, such as food-about 1h before a workout, keep the body hydrated before, during and after exercise and wear comfortable clothes to allow for the correct execution of the exercises and perspiration away from the skin.


The health of children today is compromised by a sedentary lifestyle, an unbalanced diet, by poor posture in the chair of the school and the study, by the transport of excessive weight in backpacks, among others.

As such, it is important to raise awareness, from an early age, children for a healthy life-style, in which there can, of course, missing the practice of physical exercise.

In this sense, the method of Pilates can be a good ally, since we can offer a wide range of benefits for children.

An improvement in posture, increased strength and flexibility, muscle, increases vitality and body awareness are some of the benefits associated with the practice of this modality.

Through Pilates, the children gain greater awareness of your body and develop your self-esteem, which helps to interact with other children and adults and to integrate other activities carried out in the group.

On the other hand, as it is a sport that develops concentration, it is recommended for children with attention deficit.

This method will also help relieve muscle soreness and reduce the potential for injury, as it strengthens the muscles of the body.

Finally, this modality allows children to have a more restful sleep and a better mood, helping them to achieve a life more serene and relaxed.

The Pilates for children is a modality that can be initiated from the age of 4 years, though there are occasional opinions that these ages are more conducive to other activities more free, such as running or jumping.


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