Pilates Fundamentals: The Five Principles

Beginner II

Kim has a beautiful way of clearly describing the five principles of pilates. In this class she will take you through each one, teaching you how to incorporate each into your life and showing an exercise you can do to practice them and strengthen the key core muscles.

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Comments

Existing Comments

dukegal1213
dukegal1213
January 22, 2021
Comment:

This was tremendously helpful and something I'll carry with me in my yoga practice! Kim did a great job of explaining the importance of all of the principles.

jasfoo
jasfoo
January 11, 2021
Comment:

I came to this class after a similar class by Kathi, looking for more. Kim look slightly uncomfortable under the awesome sun. Otherwise, her explanations are great.

jasfoo
jasfoo
January 11, 2021
Comment:

I tend to strain my neck while doing crunches and pilates hundreds, her explanations on the neck solved my problem.

danielasea
danielasea
August 12, 2020
Comment:

This really helped me to understand these principles. Thank you!

cali27ryan
cali27ryan
October 17, 2017
Comment:

Wow, this really is the best video on the 5 principles. I've never had them explained so thoroughly and to really understand what each one does and how to do them. I won't lie, they feel strange and I found them quite taxing, only because I'm not used to doing them and it feels unfamiliar. And I don't know how long I'll be doing these until they feel more natural. However, this is a great video explaining them so sending a huge thank you!

annedyne
annedyne
June 14, 2017
Comment:

This may be the best video describing pilates core muscle activation I've ever seen. I've read a lot of books and taken classes, and never has it been explained so precisely with easy instructions on how to activate the right muscles in any position.

I had spinal fusion surgery years ago and though my back is pretty sound, it is sensitive and if I'm not careful to protect it while I work out - and ESPECIALLY in yoga -- it immediately starts pinging and pinching nerves. When I use what was explained in this video, my back is quite happy. I'll be sure to come back to this one periodically to remind myself of how I should be doing it.

Gryogi
Gryogi
November 2, 2016
Comment:

Thank you Kim, this is great! I feel a new body awareness in my shoulder, back, neck and tummy, which I think was missing in my yoga practice! Please, do more videos Kim!

Uhmanduh
Uhmanduh
June 22, 2016
Comment:

I watched did this class first before trying any of Kim's classes and I come back to it every once in a while, especially when I've been out of practice for a bit. Yes, it's a lot of talking and less in the way of action, but it's important to understand the principles and to revisit them so that you keep them in mind throughout your regular practice. One should be working towards improving them all the time. This class shouldn't be a one-off; it should be revisited every 6 months or so.

kesalmen
kesalmen
June 13, 2016
Comment:

I did not particularly enjoy this class and, in fact, stopped it after about 8 minutes. I want my yoga to be calming and relaxing, and there was too much talking for this to be calming and relaxing. After reading the other comments, it is clear that this is a great class. However, I would have to argue that it is not for everyone.

David Procyshyn
David Procyshyn
September 13, 2016
Comment:

Hi, kesalmen. It's a valid comment, but keep in mind that this is not a yoga class, it's pilates. Pilates focuses more on core activation and whole body strength and for that reason it generally requires more specific cueing and a more active approach.
Take care,
David

Becky in TX
Becky in TX
May 3, 2016
Comment:

I feel that I have been doing crunches wrong for a lifetime. This was helpful on so many levels; I even hope my daughter notices a difference in my posture by my using these principles.
Clearly described, this could be beneficial to anyone who is wanting to enhance their practice and improve back health. Thanks

Terry87571
Terry87571
January 19, 2016
Comment:

Kim, this was FANTASTIC! A wonderful inro to pilates. I'll be doing this a least a couple of more times. Thank You!

vasinger
vasinger
December 4, 2015
Comment:

This class really promotes awareness of essential muscles that we usually neglect when we exercise!

joshuachin
joshuachin
May 18, 2015
Comment:

Aside from the fact that it does have a slight gender bias, I feel that this video is a great introduction to the world of Pilates.
Below is a paraphrased summary of the five principles and what Kim Wilson mentioned.
Feel free to correct me where I'm wrong or may have missed out on anything important.
Hope that this will help those who need it.

1. Lateral Breathing
- Engage the deep core muscles, pelvic floor.
- Breathe to expand chest and abdominals laterally.
- Purse lips while exhaling to engage core.

2. Neutral Hips
- Midway between flat lower spine and fully tense lower back.
- Engage pelvic floor and transverse abdominals (deep core) to stabilise.

3. Ribcage Engagement
- Ribcage stabilises and protects thoracic spine (mid-spine).
- Engage ribcage during arm-raising activities by preventing the ribcage from popping-up.

4. Scapular Retraction
- Neutral Position at midway between fully extending arms forward and fully retracting shoulder blades.
- Relaxes upper traps, increases engagement of lower traps.
- Opens up chest, expands body laterally through collar bone.

5. Cervical Placement
- Tuck chin until eyesight perpendicular to body, imagine string pulling from top of skull.
- Protects the neck, prevents over-engagement during activities such as crunches.

ouiser
ouiser
January 3, 2014
Comment:

In 2011-2012 I practiced Pilates consistently for over a year. Then a wedding, a move across town and a whole new life put me out of my regular routine and left me searching for a new Pilates studio. Out of practice for the past year, I've returned to Pilates and found this video. Though I was introduced to the five principles previously, I learned some new things from Kim about the positioning of my body in various exercises. Her description of the bungy cords pulling on the hip bones "clicked" with me and I was able to engage my muscles more effectively. Her explanations, instructions and examples are easy to follow and clear. Thanks, Kim!

Suzzann
Suzzann
August 6, 2013
Comment:

This video seems like it can help you greatly improve your posture, and it is vital to learn this in order to reduce the likelihood of injury while doing yoga. (Not to mention, tucking your gut in makes you look skinnier!)

Christopher
Christopher
January 9, 2013
Comment:

As a complete newbie, I selected this video for an intro. While I enjoyed Kim's instruction, I also noticed she seemed to assume that her audience was entirely female given her anatomical references. It left me wondering if (a) Pilates is only for women, or (b) if this focus is missing from the description.

aimeceleste
aimeceleste
July 2, 2013
Comment:

After seeing your comment about the focus being on females, I paid a lot of attention to her examples. I counted two anatomical references that were gendered - one was to an invisible bra strap, and the other was a general comment about post-pregnancy belly/pelvic muscle changes. The rest of her discussion was about things we all have - regardless of sex - shoulder blades, armpits, and ab muscles, mostly.

I enjoyed the descriptions she gave of different core muscles, and how to contract them appropriately - this was full of really good information!

stephleest
stephleest
September 13, 2016
Comment:

There is reference to a bra strap, which is later described as "the centre of your back". This shouldn't make you feel as though pilates is only for women, nor that this particular class focuses on women's bodies. For the same reason, Kim's reference to the C1 vertebra shouldn't make you feel like pilates is only for anatomists.

If experiencing gender-bias feels uncomfortable to you, you should count yourself lucky -- for most women, it's a boring routine.

kdnwbrry
kdnwbrry
October 2, 2012
Comment:

I love the clear, straight-forward instruction in this video. These five principles are hard to master, but Kim's teaching makes them much easier to understand.