Pilates Instructor Certificate Program (PICP)


The 34 Pilates Mat Exercises 
(as ordered in Return to Life by Joseph H. Pilates)
11. Saw
17. Bicycle
22b. Teaser I
30. Seal
31. Crab
32. Rocking
34. Push Up
The Mermaid (not shown in Return to Life)

The Abdominal Series (aka The Series of 5) 

“The 6 Pilates Principles”
Taken from The Pilates Body
By Brooke Siler
  • Breathing is the first act of life and the last, and so it is imperative to learn to breathe correctly. In order to achieve his ideal of total fitness, Joseph Pilates designed his method to cleanse the bloodstream through oxygenation. By employing full inhalations and full exhalations, you are expelling stale air and noxious gases from the depths of your lungs and replenishing your body with fresh air to energize and revitalize your system. You will find that proper breathing will help to control your movements both during the exercises and in daily life.
  • Concentration is the key element to connecting your mind and body. In order to work your body, you must be present with your mind. It is your mind that wills your body into action. Pay attention to the movements your perform and note how your muscles respond to the attention. When you focus on an area, notice how much more you can feel that area working. That’s the power of your mind! Use it!
  • Control. Joseph Pilates built his method on the idea of muscle control. That meant no sloppy, haphazard movements. This is the primary reason injuries occur in other exercise methods. Imagine gymnasts, acrobats or dancers performing their skills without control. Disastrous! The movements of the matwork are no different. They must be performed with the utmost control to avoid injury and produce positive results. No Pilates exercise is done just for the sake of getting through it. Each movement serves a function, and control is at the core.
  • Center. Think about the muscles you use to go about your daily tasks. For most people it is the arms and legs that get used the most, but what about our center? We have a large group of muscles in our center – encompassing our abdomen, lower back, hips, and buttocks – that are begging for attention. Pilates called this center the “powerhouse.” All energy for the Pilates exercises initiates from the powerhouse and flow outward to the extremities. Physical energy is exerted from your center to coordinate your movements. In this way a strong foundation is built upon which we can rely in daily living.
  • Precision: Every movement in the Pilates method has a purpose. Very instruction is vitally important to the success of the whole. To leave out any detail is to forsake the intrinsic value of the exercise. Therefore, choose to focus on doing one precise and perfect movement over many halfhearted ones.Eventually, this precision will become second nature to you, and anything less will be just that.  

Pilates Basics

The Spine

Abdominal Muscles

The Core:
Transversus Abdominis (TVA)
Pelvic Floor

Recommended Reading
See Bookstore