If you are new to Pilates, you may be a little overwhelmed when it comes to finding a Pilates instructor or maybe you didn’t even realize that it was important to make sure your instructor was qualified and a good fit for you!
When it comes to fitness many people think that a good trainer or instructor is simply someone who can push you to strengthen your body and do something you might not choose to do if left to yourself.
And yes, a good instructor will motivate you to do what you might not have thought you can do. But more importantly, your instructor will teach you how to do it with the proper form and technique for your individual body so that you don’t get hurt and you get the maximum health results from your efforts!
There is a lot more to TEACHING movement and exercise than just calling out exercises. A good instructor will be able to guide you through a movement while helping you adjust and fine tune your technique at the same time. A good instructor will help you learn a movement in your own body and not just having you mimic what they are doing.
Whether you are taking a class at the local gym or a Pilates studio- it is still important for you to research your instructor!
You may be surprised to know that many fitness centers and studios don’t require any sort of formal training or teaching experience for their Pilates teachers.
Often times it is assumed that if someone can teach a aerobics class or is a trained Yoga instructor that they are qualified to teach a Pilates class. Many times these instructors have never even taken a Pilates class from a qualified instructor. Often times these unqualified teachers have no Pilates teaching experience or training at all.
So what should I look for in an instructor?
1. Learn about where they did their training. How many hours of training have they completed? Was the training only mat work, or did it include equipment? Were they trained to work with different populations, including those with injuries or special needs?
Most credible Pilates training programs start out with 100-150 hours of training, minimum for a basic Mat Instructor program. To qualify to take the Pilates Method Alliance Professional Certifying Exam, instructors must have a minimum 450 hours of training on all Pilates apparatus and Pilates Mat work at all levels. Most fully trained instructors have 700 or more training hours logged in before they take their exam.
2. Ask about their teaching experience. How long have they been teaching? Do they teach group classes only, private sessions or both?
3. Ask to talk with them in person or maybe try out a class or session with them. It’s important for you to feel comfortable with your instructor at all levels. Not only do you want to make sure they are properly trained but you want to make sure you enjoy their teaching style. Every teacher brings their own unique style to their teaching and it’s important to find an instructor that best fits you and your personality.