Pilates teachers plan, teach, and adapt exercises based on the work and principles of Joseph Pilates. They collect and analyse information for each client to ensure that programmes are safe, appropriate and effective. They apply the principles of Pilates through the planning and teaching of supportive, non-competitive lesson. They motivate and encourage clients to ensure their adherence to regular sessions.
Pilates teachers typically perform the following duties:
- Plan and teach Pilates classes for individuals or groups
- Modify exercises to suit the needs and abilities of each participant
- Provide verbal and tactile cues to help participants perform exercises correctly and safely
- Monitor participants’ progress and adjust exercises as needed
- Demonstrate proper form and technique for each exercise
- Keep up to date with developments in Pilates and fitness industry trends
- Promote Pilates and your services to attract and retain clients.
The following job titles also refer to Pilates teacher:
Pilates teacher & personal trainer
Pilates teacher and personal trainer
Pilates and movement specialist
Pilates matwork teacher
matwork Pilates teacher
Pilates matwork instructor
teacher of Pilates
yoga and Pilates matwork teacher
Pilates teachers can work in a variety of settings, including fitness studios, gyms, and rehabilitation centers. They may work part-time or full-time, depending on the demand for their services. Pilates teachers often work evenings and weekends to accommodate their clients’ schedules.
Pilates teachers need to complete a comprehensive Pilates teacher training program. There are many different Pilates teacher training programs available, ranging from short courses to multi-year programs. The most reputable programs are those that are accredited by the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA).
To be eligible for a Pilates teacher training program, you need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some programs may also require a background in dance, fitness, or anatomy.
Once you have completed a Pilates teacher training program, you may choose to become certified by the PMA. Certification requires passing a written exam and demonstrating your teaching skills in a practical exam. While certification is not required to work as a Pilates teacher, it can enhance your credibility and increase your job prospects.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Pilates teacher is a Skill level 3 occupation.
Pilates teacher career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to Pilates teacher.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of Pilates teacher. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of Pilates teacher with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of Pilates teacher.
- Demonstrate professional Pilates attitude: Demonstrate responsibility and professional duty of care to clients, in conformance with the principles of Joseph Pilates and which will include communication skills and a focus of customer care orientation.
- Manage fitness communication: Ensure proper communication with fitness instructors, medical professionals and keep record of administrative files
- Attend to fitness clients under controlled health conditions: Recognise the standards and professional limitations when working with vulnerable clients. Monitor industry trends.
- Safely instruct about fitness: Provide safe and effective fitness instruction.
- Identify customer objectives: Identify individual motives resulting in short, medium and long term fitness goals.
- Ensure safety of exercise environment: Select the correct training environment and assess risks to ensure it provides a safe, clean and friendly fitness environment and that it will be the best use of the environment in which clients are exercising.
- Analyse personal fitness information: Carry out fitness assessments to establish fitness and skill level and analyse information relating to individual clients.
- Show professional responsibility: Ensure that other workers and clients are treated with respect and that appropriate civil liability insurance is in place at all times of instructing.
- Prescribe exercises: Provide a range of exercise programmes in accordance with the needs of the clients by applying principles of exercise programming.
- Integrate exercise science to the design of the programme: Design movements and exercises according to the functions of the musculoskeletal system and biomechanical concepts. Develop programme according to physiological concepts, the cardio-respiratory and energy systems.
- Adapt Pilates exercises: Suggest relevant Pilates matwork exercise adaptations or options to allow for individual client differences or needs and provide participants with advice on intensity and how to progress their individual performance and results.
- Prepare Pilates exercise session: Plan and prepare the exercise environment for a pilates session. Arrange the environment to be non-competitive and supportive of the principles of Joseph Pilates.
- Deliver Pilates exercises: Deliver Pilates exercise sessions to individuals or groups; adapt sessions according to individual and collective abilities and needs.
- Motivate fitness clients: Positively interact with and motivate fitness clients to participate in regular physical activity and promote fitness exercise as a part of a healthy lifestyle.
- Integrate principles of Pilates training: Apply the principles of Pilates matwork training and components of health related fitness to the design of an individual programme to meet client’s abilities, needs, and lifestyle and exercise preferences.
- Collect client fitness information: Collect fitness information relating to individual clients; Identify client information which is to be collected and advise clients of correct procedures, protocols and risks prior to commencing physical assessment and exercising.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of Pilates teacher. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Cardiovascular system: The cardiovascular system including the anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology of the circulatory system in health and disease.
- Musculoskeletal anatomy: The human musculoskeletal system, comprising of the skeleton, muscles, cartilage, tendons, joints and other connective tissue that supports and binds tissues and organs together. The human musculoskeletal system’s primary functions, such as supporting the body, allowing motion, and protecting vital organs.
- Neurophysiology: The medical specialty which is concerned with the study of the nervous system functionalities.
- Endocrine physiology: The physiological functions and components of endocrine glands, hormone chemistry and hormone cellular effects.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of Pilates teacher. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Inform clients of healthy lifestyle benefits: Provide accurate information about the role of physical activity and stimulate exercisers with controlled health conditions to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle behaviour. Inform clients on principles of nutrition and weight management.
- Promote healthy lifestyle: Provide information to clients about the role of physical activity, modes of exercise and related services and the importance of healthy activities for daily living.
ISCO group and title
3423 – Fitness and recreation instructors and program leaders
- Pilates teacher – ESCO
- How to Become a Pilates Instructor in 2022 | Boom Pilates
- How to Become a Pilates Instructor in 2023: Frequent Questions – MoveWellness.com
- Featured image: By Heltaoiartzun – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0