Form: The Importance of Proper Technique in Pilates

In the world of fitness, many people think that lifting heavy weights is the key to good fitness.


We are here to dispel that myth. 


While pushing your body to lift heavy weights comes with some great benefits, that should not be your main focus.

What should you focus on?


Proper form. 


Chances are good you’ve heard your Pilates Platinum instructors talk about the importance of form, but you may not have understood why.


Today, you will learn about why form is so important and how you can work on your form. This will help ensure that form becomes your focus in Pilates and in any other workouts you do.

Why form matters in your workouts

1. Muscle targeting

In Pilates, you focus on one primary muscle group at a time. Your seated row may also be helping your core, but the main focus is on your arms. 


That’s something we call muscle targeting. And in order to properly target your muscles, you need to have the correct form. A deadlift isn’t a proper deadlift without the right form. 


By failing to use the correct form to target the corresponding muscle, you end up relying on other muscle groups which decreases the effectiveness of the workout. 

2. Progress

You may be someone who goes to Pilates and other workouts for a boost in mental health. And we love that! It’s one of our favorite benefits of exercise. 

However, we would all be lying if we said we weren’t also going in the hopes of seeing some progress in our physical bodies, too. 


That’s where form comes in. You will struggle to see the progress you’re looking for if your form is off. 


Here’s an example scenario: You’re working on your abs and you think your focus is on your obliques. However, it turns out that your form is a bit off and your oblique exercises are actually lower ab exercises. That means you won’t see progress in your obliques.


There’s nothing really wrong with that, but you won’t get the progress you’re after unless your form is aligned.

3. Long-term health

It’s no secret that bodies deteriorate as we age. And that’s one of the reasons we love Pilates. It’s a low-impact workout that doesn’t wreak havoc on your body the way that some more intense exercises do. 


But to really get the long-term health benefits of Pilates, your form needs to be on point. 


This allows you to continue to build your strength efficiently and safely not just in the present, but in the future.


Your body will get in the habit of performing a Pilates move the same way, so make sure that it’s the right way from the beginning to build those good habits.

4. Safety

Possibly the most important reason to focus on correct form is to keep you from getting injured.

If you’re doing Standing Outer Thighs on heavy springs without proper form, you risk injuring your body. Improper technique puts unnecessary stress on your joints and muscles, which increases your risk of injury.

5. Mind-body connection

Focusing on both strength and form helps build your mind-body connection, which is important for all areas of your life, inside the Pilates studio and out. 


This connection allows you to feel more aware of your target muscle group and helps you better control your movements. This means more health benefits physically as well as mentally.

How to prioritize form

Now that you understand the “whys” behind form, let’s take a look at ways you can make it happen.

Opt for lighter weights

Don’t go in hot and heavy with your Pilates classes or your gym sessions. Start out with lighter weights to get your form correct, first and foremost. 


Once you’ve mastered the form, then you can increase the weight. 

Refer to a professional

Your Pilates Platinum instructor is there to help guide you with your form. And if you’re ever unsure about whether you’re doing a movement right or not, ask your instructor for help. 


He or she can guide you to correction so that you stay safe, and get the effective workout you came for. 

Look in the mirror

The mirrors exist in our Pilates Platinum studios for more than just selfies (but they’re great for that, too!). 


They are there to help you check on your form. Sometimes it’s hard to feel whether your form is correct, especially if you are new to Pilates. Take advantage of the mirrors to help keep your form in tip-top shape.


By focusing on form first and weight second, you build a strong foundation for your Pilates practice and other workouts. This foundation is one rooted in efficiency and safety that ensures you are able to perform these exercises for many years to come, and also enjoy the wonderful benefits they offer!