Breathing and Pilates

When we breathe effectively, oxygen flows into our blood which flows through our muscles. More oxygen in the muscles equals more relaxed muscles. The more effectively we breath in Pilates, the more we can release those tense muscles “trying to help out” in our exercises.

Think of it like this.. your muscles need oxygen right? So, when you hold your breath, you stop getting oxygen in your lungs that go to your heart. The oxygen level in the blood drops, your muscles need more oxygen, the heart then pumps faster. This is like running, your muscles need more oxygen so the heart takes over and pumps faster.

Holding your breath, not breathing properly will also cause you to speed up your movement of the exercise. This tend to shorten the range of motion (ROM) which in turn interfere with the efficiency of the exercise and/or can possibly cause injury to your body.

Exhaling is just as important since it rids our body of bad air. Another good reason to focus on exhaling while doing Pilates is focusing on our secondary breathing mucles, our abdominal muscles. By fully exhaling, you are also performing a full abdominal contraction. Even without flexing our trunk, when we deflate our torsos, the rib cage and abdominal cavity drop. This releases the surface abdominals and activates our transverses abdominus, which is a key core muscle supporting the abdominal wall.

Just remember, breathing and muscular stabilization should occur before movement for safety and efficiency…for all of you type A uber-anxious people out there!

May 23, 2010 · Connor dawson · Comments Closed
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