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28 Days of Mindfulness


DAY 10

A quick guide to the STOTT PILATES® Principles

Co-founder Moira Merrithew explains why safe and effective training starts with an understanding of the STOTT PILATES® Principles.

If you’re new to STOTT PILATES®, perhaps you’ve heard mention of the STOTT PILATES Principles.

We’re here to explain them to you.

The STOTT PILATES® Principles are the foundation of the STOTT PILATES method of exercise. When these concepts are applied to Pilates or any other kind of activity, they allow us to improve the quality of each movement. They are universal, and yet, they can be adapted to each person, body type or ability to ensure the exercises are being performed safely and effectively.

The principles start right from learning how to breathe properly to finding the best alignment and body position, allowing each individual to achieve the best possible results.

Evolved from Joseph Pilates’ original principles developed in the early 20th century, the STOTT PILATES Principles have developed over three decades, keeping pace with advances in rehabilitation, exercise science and fitness training protocols.

The STOTT PILATES Principles are broken down into basic areas of the body and look at how each functions alone and in relationship with the others.

In brief, the Principles are:

  • Breathing – optimal breathing patterns enhance mind-body awareness and efficient muscular recruitment and activity
  • Head and Cervical Placement, Scapular Movement and Stabilization – observe how they interact with the rib cage and spine
  • Rib cage and Pelvic Placement – they are directly related to the curvature and alignment of the spine
  • Hip, Knee, Ankle and Foot Placement – interact to affect posture, alignment and the effective transfer of forces through the body

“By having a really good understanding of how our bodies function and move, we can get more out of each exercise,” says Co-founder and Executive Director of Education Moira Merrithew.

Instructors use the STOTT PILATES Principles as a roadmap for assessing and correcting client posture and movement patterns.

As clients become more familiar with these key concepts, they’ll also gain greater awareness of their benefit during other workouts and their everyday activities.

“They are a living, working, evolving set of principles,” Moira says. “As research and knowledge of the body, biomechanics and training best practices evolve through the years, we update this biomechanical framework.”

Moira recommends looking at how the Principles can be embodied in the warm-up of any workout.

STOTT PILATES warm-ups may differ in movement content depending on the program or equipment, but all are designed to start moving the body, developing a better sense of how things feel.

When we use the foundation of the STOTT PILATES Principles, we can bring more focus to these specific areas right from the start.

“Whether you’re an athlete, someone with limited mobility or somewhere in between, the STOTT PILATES Principles are going to make everything you do a little bit better,” Moira says.

Try these
STOTT PILATES® Standing Warm-Up and Spine Mobilization Sequence
STOTT PILATES® Essential Matwork Express Workout 1

Read more from the 28 Days of Mindfulness