For those of who have done Pilates, or are attending my Pilates classes now, I know how difficult the concept of breathing can be for you, so I thought I’d write a little post for you detailing when to breathe in, and when to breathe out.

In fact: “When should I breathe in and out?” is one of the most frequently asked questions from my Pilates clients, so hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll be a little more clued up on the whole breathing situation.

I mention in class that the breathing in Pilates is certainly connected to core activation, so it’s not something you want to disregard altogether, and some clients who’ve been practising Pilates for years still struggle with the timing.

The main thing to remember is to breathe. Try NOT to hold your breath when performing Pilates. Let your breath guide the movement, regardless of whether it’s in or out.

If you’d really like to fine-tune your breathing technique though, here are my top tips for remembering when to breathe in and out.

Generally speaking, the out breath occurs:

  1. When you feel the muscle working,
  2. When you take your body away from the neutral position, and/or
  3. On the first phase of the movement.

To clarify that further, let’s use a calf raise as an example exercise.  A calf raise is where you’re in standing, and yCalf raiseou lift both heels off the floor.  The breathing pattern would be as follows:

  1. Out breath to work the calf – that’s when the calf muscle activates/works,
  2. Out breath to move away from the neutral/starting position,
  3. Out breath in the first phase of movement – when you lift the heels off the floor.

The in breath occurs:

  1. During the non-work muscle phase,
  2. When you return your body back to neutral, and/or
  3. On the second phase of the movement.

I hope that’s clarified things for you regarding when to breathe in and out in Pilates.

If you want to have a go at practising some of the breathing techniques in the comfort of your own home, click here to download a set of Worksheets to help you.

To quote Joseph Pilates himself:

“In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see the difference and in 30 you’ll have a whole new body!”.

Any further questions, do get in touch.

See you in class again soon!