Exercise in the Pool Using Pilates Principles

The most amazing place I have found is to exercise in the pool.

The water is a place where mermaids still exist and our weightless bodies are stretched and strengthened while our joints and muscles are massaged by the properties of the water.

I am amazed by the similarities in the benefits of Pilates exercise and water exercise, especially for the back and joints.

Pilates and water both have the benefits of being low impact, which means low stress on the joints in the body. But they still have the benefits of resistance and pulling actions to help strengthen the muscles that surround and protect our spine and joints.

What exercise could be better than a combination of the two for people who have bone and joint conditions that are painful?

You may wonder how can I exercise in the pool and still do Pilates?

You can do this by incorporating the land based Pilates exercises into your water workout.

Pilates exercises in the water incorporates the seven principles of the Pilates Method:

1. Concentration and Control

2. Centering

3. Shoulder Girdle Stabilization

4. Breathing

5. Fluidity

6. Precision

7. Integration and Isolation

Warm-up Pool Exercise:

Pilates water exercise should start with a warm-up including breathing exercises as you walk forward, backward and sideways. Follow these pool exercises with your Hundreds breathing.


Pilates Exercises in the Pool:

Adapting the Pilates movements into the pool may change the look of the exercise but not the benefit.

Most water Pilates exercises are done standing or suspended instead of lying on your back in a supine position.

Examples of standing exercises are the Leg Circles, Single Leg Stretch, Roll Ups using the wall, and the Mermaid (side stretch).

Examples of Side Kicks are done by leaning into the side of the pool instead of lying on your side doing kicks to the side, small circles, and front and back kicks swinging the leg with a stable pelvis.

Examples in the prone position or lying on your stomach are done supported by a noodle or holding the edge of the pool. The Swim and Cat stretch can be done this way.

Learn more about the benefits of Pilates exercises and how to perform these exercises correctly on land first by checking out the new e-book available here.

Contributed by, Kimberly MurphyAquatic Fitness Specialist


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