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Common Pilates Mistakes Of Beginners

Updated on March 22, 2013

When you get into Pilates, you’ll soon realize that the exercises are actually fairly easy. Because there isn’t a lot of pressure on going for the burn, doing Pilates exercises is usually simple, calming, and relaxed.

However, keep in mind that Pilates is a workout routine that requires precise movements and breathing, and because balance and the central core are the main focus, every position should be done properly and almost perfectly, otherwise you’ll hardly meet the results you want or worse, you could injure yourself and do more harm than good.


In order to avoid such things, make sure you completely understand all the instructions at hand, and when in doubt, seek. If you feel you’re doing something wrong or unsure about one exercise, ask a professional or refer to your DVD before it gets worse.

Common Pilates Mistakes

You could have been doing your favorite exercise routine completely wrong all this time. Here are some of the common mistakes Pilates beginners commit.

1. While many turn to Pilates in the hopes of getting that sexy, firm abs, a mistake that is usually done by many is pushing out their bellies or tightening them during abdominal workouts and exercises. You should be scooping your stomach inwards as you exhale which would also work on the spine.

2. Related to this is proper breathing. While many students believe they have the correct positioning, their breathing might not be in sync with the movements which could deliver unexpected, slow or no results at all.

3. Another mistake some Pilates beginners make is going too fast. Unlike other fitness regimens, Pilates is in no hurry to shape you. It requires patience and small steps at a time, while being precise and consistent. Slowly but surely is something Pilates adheres to but this ironically produces fast and good results. Keep in mind that Pilates movements and exercises have deliberate breaks and pauses ensuring the activation of stability muscles. By breaking momentum, you are working on another group of muscles, and going at it too fast will lessen its efficiency.

4. As you are struggling to keep yourself in the proper position, your head might start to crane to relieve the tension of the exercise. The head must always be kept straight during workouts like The Hundred. Avoid looking up at the ceiling and avoid creating a huge gap between your chin and your neck or chest. This is important to strengthening and rounding the upper spine.

5. Another common mistake related to this is the rising of the shoulders during some exercises—you might find your shoulders going up to meet your ears, and when it does be sure to anchor them back down. Shoulders should be relaxed; otherwise it will cause tension in the neck area and upper body.

Pilates is a holistic whole-body workout

Maybe you’re already very much into the Pilates movement, trying out modified poses and variations of exercises to focus on your abs or tone your legs. While targeting certain muscle groups is common, putting too much focus on one portion of your body can lead you to neglect the others. Remember, Pilates is a holistic, whole-body workout.


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