Why Hire a Pilates Instructor?
The fitness industry is known for having instructors who are not fully qualified to accurately perform their job functions. Industry standards, while changing, have not been fully established and this has created some problems for consumers as well as qualified instructors. While prevalent in many exercise disciplines, unfortunately it may be more so with Pilates. Interest in Pilates classes has increased dramatically in the recent past and in their haste to get these types of classes on group fitness schedules, many clubs have hired instructors who are not adequately trained. In some cases, in the absence of a properly trained Pilates instructor, clubs will place a group fitness instructor and let him/her teach Pilates.
Because Pilates is considered a Mind/Body exercise there is a common misunderstanding that this exercise discipline is easy and does not require a well-trained instructor. This could not be further from the truth. In order to be taught properly, Pilates requires instructors to be familiar with the application (Mat Pilates versus Standing Pilates or apparatus based Pilates) as well as anatomy and proper technique. One of the main principles of Pilates is precision and only a well-trained instructor with a good eye for attention to detail can provide this sort of expertise for a client or class participant. Unfortunately being certified doesn’t guarantee a fully qualified instructor either.
While there are many Pilates certifications available, many do not provide qualified training nor do they require the student teacher to spend time teaching under supervision. There are weekend certifications as well as Internet certifications which never require the prospective student teacher to do any sort of practical work and may never even come face-to-face with an actual trainer. It may be convenient, but it is a disservice to the potential instructor as well as the clients and students with whom the instructor will come in contact.
Certifications should not be easy to obtain. They should require study time with course materials as well as self-practice in addition to supervised teaching. A certified instructor will be familiar with all available exercises in the Pilates repertoire including moderate to advanced progressions along with modifications for clients who may need them. This is especially critical for instructors who intend to teach clients in a one-on-one, private or semi-private environment. As a rule, private clients pay top dollar for their lessons and they should never have to be concerned about the credentials of their trainer.
It is in the best interest of exercise enthusiasts to seek qualified instructors who have learned their craft well. Consumers should demand this sort of quality no matter where they practice the Pilates method. This will ensure the safest possible session, while providing the client the best workout for their fitness level and goals.