How to choose the right Pilates instructor?

With the increase in demand of Pilates classes, Pilates groups and government bodies within the exercise industry have come up with a National Standard to ensure the quality of teaching offered to the public. Before you sign up to classes make sure that your teacher is qualified so you can make the most of your classes. If you wish to check a teachers credentials then you can look for them on the UK Register of Exercise Professionals (http://www.exerciseregister.org). It is recommended that teachers be at least a Level 3 in skills and knowledge to teach Pilates matwork.

What to look out for in a successful Pilates teacher…

  • full of energy and motivation
  • understands pace and rhythm
  • caters to individuals needs and those of the group
  • shows a passion for Pilates
  • keeps the workout balanced and safe

 

What level of Pilates is right for me?

The best way to decide this is to take part in a class; if it is too difficult, try the level lower. If it is too easy, take a more advanced class! Your instructor should be able to advise you but, as a rule, here is what to expect in the different levels…

Basic Pilates-

This class is open to people of all ages who have never tried Pilates before, who have minor injuries, and those with a low fitness ability.  You will be introduced to the fundamental components of Pilates, learn a series of basic exercises that strengthen the core and align and lengthen the spine and hips.

The equipment used at this level is usually the mat and reformer with…

  • Some Cadillac
  • Basic Wunda Chair
  • Some peripheral equipment used to stretch and to become aware of posture
  • The Wall

 

Intermediate Pilates –

If you have attended classes before and want to acquire a strong Pilates body then this level might be suitable for you. As your body has already absorbed the basics of Pilates you are ready to strengthen and increase your power house (also known as core strength). Positions practiced in the basic level are deepened and new movements are introduced so that you can enjoy the full range of positions and handle them in many different ways. You should have an awareness of alignment, posture and notice a mind/body consciousness. All the equipment is used.

 

Advanced Pilates –

This is the level practiced by athletes, dancers, acrobats, or long-term Pilates enthusiasts with healthy, muscular, limber bodies and strong bones. There is a larger focus on the upper body and working the upper back so that the body works as whole to develop the power house in a balanced way. You should notice a uniform development of your body including powerful pelvic and shoulder stability, oppositional energy and spinal articulation. The advanced level unites complete flow and synchronization through breathing and exercises. Again, all equipment is used.