Want to be a Pilates Instructor? Here’s What You Need to Know


Over the years, Pilates has earned its rightful place in the heart of fitness buffs the world over.

While a fraction of the popularity it enjoys can be attributed to sportsmen and celebrities swearing by it, a large part can be credited to its effectiveness, incomparable benefits, and staying power.

Indeed, there is no doubt Pilates is here to stay.

Undoubtedly, this is good news for those who have chosen teaching Pilates as a career and those who would like to travel down the same path.

If you are considering a career as a Pilates instructor, the following tips should get you off to a superb start.

Decide on a Pilates certification program

It’s reassuring to know that as far as good Pilates certification programs go, there are numerous options available at your disposal. You can ask your favorite instructor for recommendations or you can do some research on the matter.

If you do some research, you will find that most Pilates instructor course offers different programs for those who would like to study modified versions of Pilates like Total Barre™, Zen-GA™, and STOTT PILATES® to name a few. Advanced Pilates instructor course is also available if you would like to explore other Pilates methods and gain more insight about the discipline.

Certification programs should include:

  • 500+ hours of student teaching, practice, and training (for comprehensive certification)
  • Modules that are covered over a period of months (not just a week or two)

Join a Pilates class

Before you become an instructor, it is important that you get a feel of what a Pilates session is like. Take it also as the perfect opportunity to familiarize yourself with the exercises, learn more about your body, and observe Pilates instructors in action.

Attend as many sessions as you deem necessary. Observe different instructors so you can easily determine which style you are most drawn to. You can also learn effective teaching methods by observing. Also, consider asking your instructor regarding trainings and certifications they can recommend.

Ask yourself key questions

  • Am I passionate about teaching?
  • Am I comfortable / do I enjoy speaking in front of large groups of people?
  • Am I interested in / fascinated by anatomy, body mechanics, and exercise science?
  • Am I self-motivated?

Figure out if you want a comprehensive or a mat certification

Mat certification will equip you with the needed know-how when teaching group mat classes. A comprehensive certification on the other hand will equip you with the knowledge and skills to be able to train and teach clients using traditional Pilates equipment like the chair, cadillac, reformer, etc.

If you want to train private clients or if you are looking into teaching full-time, then a comprehensive certification should be your top choice.

Ensure you complete the certification process

A mat certification can take a few months. A comprehensive one on the other hand will take a year or more. Fortunately, most programs are flexible so you can easily tailor it to suit your goals and schedule. You will be required to takes tests which can include a written test and a hands-on practical teaching assessment.

Take continuing education courses

Even if you have gained enough teaching and hands-on experience, you should never stop learning as a Pilates instructor. Pilates is constantly evolving and there are new variations and modifications introduced to make it even more safe and effective. Make it a point to learn and discover everything there is to know about Pilates, healthy movement, and the body.

Becoming a Pilates instructor is no walk in the park. It will take time, it will demand commitment, and of course, it will cost money. However, if you are passionate, dedicated, and committed, you will be rewarded with a fulfilling career with lucrative rewards.

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