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What Goes Into Becoming a Pilates Teacher

in Southfield, MI

What Goes Into Becoming a Pilates Teacher

If you practice Pilates and are amazed at how knowledgable your instructor is, you might wonder what goes into becoming an amazing Pilates teacher.

Hopefully your Pilates teacher is certified – given that this is required by most studios and gyms. And those with certification are the most knowledgable and aware of the safest ways to practice.

If that’s the case, you can bet that he or she has spent a bare minimum of seven months to get certified in one modality and up to two years for full certification.

What Goes Into Becoming a Pilates Teacher

Obviously, getting certified to be a Pilates teacher can’t be done at a weekend workshop. And this is a good thing. It ensures that your Pilates instructor has completed a comprehensive program and is highly skilled. 

To get a better understanding, the following is the typical route a Pilates teacher would take to become an instructor: 

1. Experiment With Classes to Choose Route 

It would make zero sense to become a teacher without first being a student. It’s mind-blowing to think that your instructor at one point had his or her first class too! 

At any rate, the enthusiastic Pilates student who wishes to become a teacher must first choose a route. The most common routes are the classical and the contemporary. 

For those drawn to the classical route, they plan to teach the practice as close as possible to the original methods developed by Joseph Pilates.  He initially established the practice for the purpose of physical fitness. 

Contemporary Pilates, on the other hand, takes a lot of cues from physical therapy. While it’s still rooted in Joseph Pilates’ work, it offers a more individualistic approach which is determined by the instructor.

2. Begin the Training Process

There are a lot of certification programs so most Pilates instructors take ample time to research them to find the plan that is best for them. Depending on where the potential instructor lives, some travel may be required. 

Many trainings offer a comprehensive course that teaches the full repertoire on all of the equipment. For those with time constraints, there are programs that serve it up more à la carte – offering training on one piece of equipment at a time. Obviously, the latter will take more time.

During this training time, students spend additional time meeting the required hours for studio practice, observation, and practice teaching hours. Upon completing those hours, as well as all of the anatomy training, they schedule their test with an Instructor Trainer (IT). 

3. Hone In On Form and Specialty

There are myriad different specializations and forms of Pilates. When the instructorship period begins and students are working toward full certification, most narrow in on one or a couple of specialties to differentiate themselves. This determines the type of clients they work with. 

The apparatuses for Pilates include Mat and Reformer, as well as Chair, Cadillac, and Barrels. The specialties fan out even wider. Instructors may choose to focus on Pilates for pregnancy, chronic pain, dance, aging, arthritis, athletes, surgical/accident recovery, or just plain fitness.

To get familiar with the chosen areas of specialization and focus, students practice teaching with friends, family, or anyone who’s willing! This is important because they need to log in 500+ hours in order to seek full certification.

4. Take The Test For Certification 

Once students have met all the requirements of their training program and logged the hours teaching, they take the certification exam. This is a comprehensive exam that’s typically comprised of both a written and practical test. There is usually an element of postural analysis too.  

For students who reach the high status of certification, the learning never stops. To keep their certification updated and current, they regularly enroll in continuing education Pilates courses.  

5. Get Insured

Finally, certified instructors need to secure liability insurance to protect themselves. Some studios cover this for their instructors teaching classes there. Others do not. And instructors working from home or as independent contractors need to ensure they have insurance that goes with them where they go. 

Now You Know!

Understanding all of the intricacies involved in becoming a Pilates teacher may have given new respect for your instructor. 

Whether your teacher instructs Pilates full-time or does it as a supplement to another career, you can be certain that they’re deeply committed to the practice. 

If you’re eager to see what Pilates looks like in a highly professional environment, contact us today. We’re passionate about ALL forms of Pilates.