Not all Pilates instructors are created equal

Pilates instructors

Do you know what training your Pilates instructor has had? This is a really important question to ask, and it’s important to understand why it is important.

Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates Having had asthma and other ailments, Joseph Pilates turned to exercise to battle his health challenges. Using his knowledge, based on various exercises – and the idea of man being balanced in body, mind and spirit – he developed “Contrology”, which is now known as “Pilates”. Pilates has developed since Joseph Pilates death and has been used as a rehabilitation tool, as well as an exercise tool.

primal movement

Pilates – body in motion

Pilates exercises help us physically and mentally. Physically, Pilates develops balance, strength, flexibility, and coordination. Mentally, Pilates reduces stress, helps with focus and relaxation, and assists in developing self-awareness, self-control and self-esteem. Pilates also helps to prevent and reduce sports injuries. Breathing is an extremely important principle in Pilates.

Because of the way Pilates can affect the body, it can be a dangerous tool in the hands of someone who does not understand it, especially once the springs of the equipment are introduced and are loading the body.  All too frequently I have seen clients at The Body Refinery come in for physiotherapy due to injury from Pilates they have done elsewhere. The other concern for me, as a Physiotherapist and owner of a Pilates and physiotherapy studio, is when people apply for a position as a Pilates instructor, stating that they are Pilates instructors, but who don’t know what the equipment is called and are unable to modify exercises for certain pathologies.

The Pilates Method

Pilates is a great exercise form but it is not about just adding springs to make it harder. An understanding of what the load does to movement is vital. It is only with this understanding that you will get a true Pilates workout in a safe supportive environment.

In order to teach Pilates in Australia and have the best understanding of the technique, it is essential to complete a diploma. A diploma of Pilates takes between 12-18 months to complete (about 450 hours) and provides a complete understanding of the history of the exercises, the rehabilitation applications, the pathologies you are likely to encounter and the anatomy that needs to be understood. On top of the theory, there is an expectation during the diploma that students experience all the exercise. This practical component of the diploma allows the instructor-in-training to better understand the applications of the exercises and how to teach them.

The Body Refinery only employs diploma level qualified instructors, meaning that you can be sure your instructor is teaching with knowledge and understanding along with respect for the Pilates method.

Can’t make it to the studio? Don’t worry, join our online Studio and its large variety of Pilates classes and educational video. Looking for something more specific? Our team of Pilates instructors and Physiotherapists have created 3 online Pilates programs that allow you your take your instructor with you… anywhere, anytime!

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