Pilates Instructor Requirements

Posted on July 20, 2019 by admin

The requirements for becoming a Pilates Instructor depend greatly on what kind of instructor you wish to become. Some level of qualification is highly recommended for every tier of the professiona, however, there are varying degrees of both the quality of the coursework and the length of time required to study the course of your choice.

Are there any prerequisites to study Pilates?

There are generally no prerequisites for the study of Pilates if you intend to start at the Certificate IV level.  Ideally though, your body should be fit, healthy and capable of reaching a highly competent level with the Pilates repertoire.

Although you don’t need to be the fittest or the best at Pilates to start an instructor training course, you will, however, make an example when you are in front of your clients, and therefore many instructors have to make a point to set aside personal practice time!

While you are learning to be a Pilates Instructor you will definitely need to be able to demonstrate at least a few repetitions of each exercise in the repertoire included within your qualification, so fitness is important and also being willing to learn new and exciting exercises is part of the process.

We also recommend that practicing Pilates yourself for some time before starting to study is always beneficial (although not entirely essential), so that you will hopefully already be familiar with some of the principles of Pilates.

Lastly, having language, literacy and numeracy skills sufficient to understand anatomy & physiology terms, pathology terms and the ability to communicate with clients and other Allied Health professionals is a must.  While the ‘language’ of movement is universal, the terms that are used in anatomy and physiology often come from Greek and Latin- so be prepared for some words that are not entirely familiar in day-to-day English.

Once you are confident that you meet the entry requirements, next is to decide which course you wish to undertake.

Which Pilates Instructor Training is right for me?

A Pilates Instructor may hold a range of qualifications:

  • Group reformer. This qualification is arguably the least regulated of all the current offerings within the Pilates industry. In many of these ‘courses’, the Pilates repertoire is taught ‘in house’ by fellow staff members who may (or may not) have any qualifications themselves. While this can be an easy ‘on the job’ training for new staff members, it is always advisable to ask about WHO is running the ‘in house’ training, what their qualifications are and what sort of outcome or certification you will get at the end of the training programme.   Many of these ‘in house’ training programmes are simply an array of exercises to be performed (which you will be asked to memorise), to be delivered to groups of 7+ clients by one instructor with little to no regard of pre-existing conditions. There, are, however, some courses that are more in-depth than others so it definitely is a good idea to ensure that the instructor will be delivering enough knowledge of the body for you as a student to deliver any of your classes in a safe manner.
  • Certificate IV Level Pilates Instructor. The title of a course like this suggests that the training is Government Accredited and therefore you (as the student) will have some assurances that the instructor should know the entire Pilates matwork repertoire with regressions, progressions and variations to the exercises taught. The trainer should at least have the same Qualification that they are teaching you (ie the trainer should have a Certificate IV level Qualification already) and also they should have a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.   This will assure you, as the student, that the trainer has the skills necessary to assess you as you undertake your training.   At this level, you should expect a course that will impart to you knowledge of the correct Pilates breathing and a solid grasp of anatomy, physiology and pathologies. This qualification may also include some basic Pilates equipment such as Magic circle, Foam Roller and other small apparatus exercises depending on the course.
  • Diploma of Pilates. As well as everything described about the Certificate IV level qualification, a Diploma qualified instructor should also know all aspects of the equipment repertoire, covering the Reformer, Cadillac, Barrel and Wunda Chair. The training program should also go more in-depth to cover anatomy and pathology knowledge, enabling a graduate to work alongside a Physiotherapist or any other Allied health practitioner for rehabilitative purposes as well as being able to work with pre and postnatal clients.
  • Advanced Diploma of Pilates. As a postgraduate course, an Advanced Diploma would have all the content and depth as the Certificate IV and Diploma level courses and would also delve further into the rehabilitative applications of the Pilates method and the management of chronic pain, neurological conditions, musculoskeletal injuries and cancer. Some courses may also offer various forms of Somatic therapies such as Hanna Somatics, a sensory-motor training technique that marries very well into the advanced Pilates practice

The pros and cons of each of these options should be weighed against what you hope to get out of a career or job in the Pilates industry.   Once those considerations have been made, you are ready to embark on your exciting new journey into the world of movement and rehabilitation. We highly recommend that you contact any training provider directly and ask them questions about where their previous graduates have found employment or what other successful outcomes they have experienced.  The goal of any programme is to equip graduates with the skills and knowledge that they need- so go get yours!

Praise From Our Students And Graduates

The quality of the training provided by Tensegrity Training was excellent. The modelling was impressive, and they demanded and succeeded in getting the best from each of us. I was challenged and encouraged greatly as a result. The requirement to complete observations sessions was greatly appreciated as I learnt a great deal from viewing qualified instructors. I was impressed by my trainer’s knowledge and mastery of her craft. Inspirational!

Marney NSW

“….Caroline (Caz) broke the days up well with a balance of completing the
practical and theory components. She was very flexible in her delivery
and allowed us to ask questions are we went. She also made it specific
and relevant to our needs and experience level e.g. desire for more
Pelvic floor set up etc. We would have loved even more time with her,
the course was incredibly valuable. All team members at Tensegrity
have been very helpful and approachable to help with our questions and
enquiries. Thank You!…..”

Jenna Kaine Deniliquin, NSW

I feel the practical assessments is allowed me to feel confident in my understanding of the exercises. I thoroughly enjoyed this part!! Practicing how to explain an exercise and personally knowing how to do them was my challenge, that I’ve now overcome. I will confidently use my learning from this course to teach Pilates classes at the studio I now work in. I’m very excited to be ‘officially’ getting started on my journey as an Instructor!!

Lauren Central Coast NSW

The course thoroughly covered safe movement for various conditions and rehabilitation exercises for various pathologies. As most people have some sort of physical issue, I thought this was extremely valuable. Every aspect of the course was so valuable and had a positive impact on my Pilates teacher learning journey.

Tamsyn Deloraine, Tasmania

Clinical Practice hours were valuable time spent under supervision getting hands on training in a safe and supportive environment.  I had “lightbulb” moments throughout the training with certain phrases, cues or knowledge that the trainer shared with us.  The dots started to slowly join. I really enjoyed the Cadillac training and feel confident to go ahead and instruct in all aspects of Pilates instruction.

I have taken away the knowledge acquired in the Integrated Diploma and put it into practice at the Pilates & Yoga studio where I now teach. I am seeing better results and from clients in my classes and have had great feedback. I have learnt so much about my own body and now have a deeper understanding of both my personal Pilates practice and teaching.

Kelly Brisbane Queensland

I enjoyed the academic and physical components of the course equally. I am very fortunate to have been offered work in a Studio, so everything I learnt in the Course has proved invaluable. Thank you! I also feel well prepared to teach and confident to ask questions and seek guidance from Tensegrity if needed. They are so supportive of current and past students.

Alana Hobart, Tasmania

‘…..I was very fortunate to have Leanne Mollison as my teacher who kept me
motivated and engaged the entire time. Given Leanne is so passionate
and knowledgeable about Pilates, she was able to ignite a spark in me,
allowing me to be so excited about being a Pilates instructor.
Leanne’s method of teaching of ensuring we are all totally immersed in
the world of Pilates and the required anatomy knowledge, had the
greatest impact on me as I was able to learn the material so much
quicker and easier. Leanne was so supportive and she was able to
challenge us without pushing us over the edge….’

Mandy Neller Adelaide

‘…I valued the presenters hands-on experience, working knowledge and passion of the content. The presenters were very collaborative and encouraged EVERYONE to contribute and express their opinion, which made for a very inclusive learning environment.….’

Louise Osborne Melbourne

‘…Bruce’s communication style and his ability to enable me to “feel” what muscles were engaging was outstanding…’

Mike Fitsimon Melbourne

“All the knowledge and repertoire that I learnt will 100% stay with me and I will pass this knowledge on through my work with clients. I will endeavour to utilise similar explanations when teaching clients how to use any for of Pilates equipment.”

K.M. South Australia

‘…Kaz was simply amazing. She explained and demonstrated to us so well
and we were able to pick everything up so quickly…’

Ashlee Huntly Deniliquin, NSW

‘….Further information around achieving neutral spine through various
exercises. Greater depth of understanding of Cadillac repertoire. I
very much enjoyed learning form Bruce who not only has extensive
knowledge & experience, but has a very inclusive and approachable
teaching style….’

Vanessa Killen Melbourne

I have recently completed Integrated Diploma of Contemporary Pilates and Teaching Methodology through Queen St Pilates Studio and Tensegrity Training. I found the learning environment that Leanne Mollison has created at her studio to be very supportive no matter what background the student may have. The course prepares you to enter your career as Pilates instructor both from a technical and physical perspective with lots of opportunities to practice and perfect your teaching style along the way. Leanne is a wealth of knowledge and keeps the course interesting and engaging for the students. After completing my face to face hours of the Cours I gained work in the industry and that is a testament to the quality of my knowledge and teaching skills gained from the course. I highly recommend the course offered through Queen St Pilates Studio to anyone who is looking at becoming a Pilates instructor.

Jessica Bajic

‘….I undertook my Diploma of Contemporary Pilates & Teaching Methodology with Tensegrity Training in 2015. For me, it was a total career change having spent the previous 10 years practicing as a litigation attorney. After years of doing Pilates for my own body and experiencing its many benefits, I decided to turn it into a career. The training I did with Tensegrity gave me the skills and the knowledge to work for myself, support my young family, be more present at home and to teach others the joy of Pilates.

The course is well structured, beginning with an understanding of anatomy before diversifying into content that covers both the theoretical as well as practical aspects of the Pilates method, including how to operate a Pilates business. Tracey is a charismatic and passionate teacher whose extensive knowledge is founded in many disciplines, resulting in an educational experience that goes beyond ‘just Pilates.’ In this course you are challenged to think independently, to deduce, differentiate, apply and justify what you are taught. You are required to think critically, logically and thoughtfully in order to successfully and accurately apply what you know to any given scenario. This is how all Pilates courses should be, in order that students enter the profession as self-contained, independent thinkers. The Diploma provides a solid foundation from which to begin your Pilates career.

The learning environment at Tensegrity is relaxed, beautiful and collegiate, and there is opportunity for continuing professional development after you have completed your initial training.

After completing my training with Tensegrity, I worked for a number of studios around the Sunshine Coast before opening my own small, boutique studio. I have a dedicated clientele and delight in what I do every day. For me, witnessing the difference Pilates makes to my clients’ physical and mental health is the greatest reward. I am forever grateful to Tracey at Tensegrity for encouraging me along this path….’

Deborah Commins Sunshine Coast

I recently completed the group reformer course though Tensegrity training at Queen St Pilates Studio in Adelaide. Over the three fantastic days of face-to-face training, I was able to broaden my knowledge and understanding of the body and the benefits and versatility of the reformer. Being only 1 of 5 people in this course meant that we were very interactive with the teacher and were able to ask frequent questions, create relative conversations, and feed off of each others ideas. It also meant that we could all use each other to demonstrate and create scenarios, and the instructor was almost always available to tend to us.

The online theory was thorough and simple to follow, which prepared me well for the hands on learning. Ample time was provided to complete the assessments away from the studio, and I loved having to put my knowledge to the test using real life scenarios and putting together class plans for different injuries, ages and fitness abilities. I think this type of learning prepares you extremely well for taking on clients. It was only a week after the course that I taught my first reformer class and it was incredible. I felt like I knew how to tend to each participant based on their abilities and knew how to modify/progress them. It felt extremely natural. I am still teaching at this pilates studio in Moonta Bay and over the course of these past few months I feel like the information I was provided with through Tensegrity has sunk in and progressed, and has not only been of high value to myself, but to the studio and its clients as well.

I have also now completed the face to face component of the Certificate IV in Contemporary Pilates & Teaching Methodology.

Lucy Prior

‘….The entire day was super informative and working with Bruce was wonderful! He was very good at explaining everything and the day was great! There were a lot of phrases and explanations that Bruce used that have stuck with me since Sunday!…”

Bella Sammut Smeaton Grange, NSW- Western Sydney

‘….I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Queen St Pilates Studio, feeling
very welcomed and included into a great group of people. Leanne is an
incredible teacher, I admire her passion and dedication to her
students and work place. I felt very supported throughout my face to
face learning time with her….’

Kerryn Mundy Adelaide

I have recently completed my Integrated Diploma of Contemporary Pilates and Teaching Methodology with Tensgrity Training and in partnership with Queen St Pilates Studio and absolutely loved every minute of it!

Leanne kept us all so engaged throughout the course and was able to challenge us, without pushing us over the edge. Leanne was professional, inspiring, supportive and filled with so much knowledge … it was a privilege to do the course with her.  Leanne is so passionate about Pilates, our bodies and our overall health, it created a positive and enjoyable atmosphere to learn in.

Queen St Pilates studio was also the perfect environment to undertake the course, with so much support provided by all the current instructors and reception staff.

Mandy Neller

‘…..From as young as I can remember my mum has always been bringing me along to Pilates. It wasn’t until I was around 15 that I started taking interest and going myself. I always loved that ‘after class feeling’ and the perfect balance of strength and flexibility.

Along with my new found love of Pilates soon followed a passion for an all round healthy lifestyle. This is where my Pilates journey really began.

Three days before my 16th birthday I started my Certificate IV in my sunny home town of Port Macquarie.

With my teacher and mentor being my mum, it was such an enjoyable experience I gained a deeper awareness of my body. It was through my certification and passion for healthy living that I began my degree of Naturopathy and relocated to Geelong  Victoria. It was here that I fell in love with Hot Pilates and started teaching at Upstate Studios. With the classes having up to 60 students each, every class has such a high vibe and is always nothing but fun.

I feel so grateful to have a job that I truly enjoy and is flexible around my studies. I hope to continue teaching and one day have my own studio. I couldn’t be more grateful!….’

Lilly Howard Port Macquarie
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