Why Pilates is Amazing - Part 5: Flow & Precision

pilates method pilates principles Dec 27, 2021

A few months ago we began our journey to find out what Pilates exercise is exactly and why is it so amazing for our bodies. If you missed part 1, 2, 3, & 4 you can find the articles on the blog.

We discovered that Pilates is functional fitness training. The unique method of Pilates re-trains the functioning of the entire body.

We also discovered that the Pilates method brings a new level of strength that begins on the inside and works from the core out to the periphery.

We laid out that all schools of Pilates teach a set of principles that we can apply to our Pilates practice:

  • Awareness (proprioception)
  • Balanced Muscle Development
  • Breath
  • Concentration
  • Control
  • Centring
  • Flowing Motion
  • Precision

Today we are exploring the last two principles: Flowing Motion and Precision.


All movements in Pilates are meant to be done with a sense of rhythm and flow (which I consider my skilled expertise!) Flow creates smooth, graceful, and functional movements.

In Pilates, flow can be understood as the timing of muscle recruitment (activation). For each movement there is an optimal muscle firing sequence. When this is not executed habitual incorrect movement patterns can result, because certain muscles become overused while other muscles are underutilized.

I found a concise Joseph Pilates quote that speaks about the flow he intended: "a few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy calisthenics or forced contortion."

Think about a skilled athlete, like Michael Phelps. He recruits the correct muscles in a certain sequence that makes his swimming movements seem effortless. He didn't always have that smooth flow, it took years of practice and coaching. That is why we commit to practicing Pilates several times a week with a skilled instructor to help coach us on that important recruitment.
This principle is one of the reasons there is a big difference between Pilates vs other styles of exercise. Precision is the ability to perform exercises with optimum alignment (within your ability), along with conscious control, mixed with just the right amount of effort.

To be precise in our Pilates practice we need to strengthen our skills of concentration, control, and centring. Without practicing with awareness and precision Pilates movements become almost meaningless. This is because without a level of control and precision, a practitioner may be moving with momentum and/or using their joints instead of their necessary muscles.

Precision takes dedication to practice the way Pilates movements were intended. Here at Pilates Life Studio we consider the Pilates method to be important enough to take the exercises seriously. With this respect for the Pilates method we add a good amount of flowing fun thrown into the mix, never judging or critical when our practice may be imperfect at times, only deep caring and support for each practitioner through our individual Pilates practice journeys. I look so forward to coaching you on your unique journey!


Ready for change? Head to the Pilates Life Services and Pricing page to learn more how the Pilates method can help you reach your health and wellness goals.

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