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Pilates Certification: Pilates Instructor Training Classes

Pilates is one of the fastest-growing trends in the health and fitness industry, and more people are becoming interested in strengthening, toning and getting in shape with Pilates exercises. If you want to teach Pilates at a local gym, a private studio or work one-on-one with clients as a personal Pilates instructor, you will need to obtain Pilates certification. Pilates instructor certification programs provide both classroom and hands-on training to teach you the key principles of Pilates exercises, and show you how to educate people about the Joseph Pilates techniques.

Pilates Classes in a Pilates Certification Program

Each Pilates certification program has different course requirements, and you will be required to perform a number of mat and machine exercises in order to learn all of the basic techniques and movements. Some of the most common Pilates classes you can expect to take in a Pilates certification program, include:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Joseph Pilates Theory
  • Joseph Pilates Technique and Philosophy
  • Principles of the Joseph Pilates Method
  • Body Awareness
  • Posture and Pilates
  • Basic Pilates Routines
  • Advanced Pilates Routines
  • Muscle Control
  • Mental Control Over Physical Movement

Some Pilates certification programs include instructional DVDs and audio CDs that the student can review on their own time. Other Pilates training materials include instructional cards with poses and breathing techniques, workbooks, journals, photographs of different exercises and poses, and textbooks. Some schools that offer Pilates certification include the costs of these Pilates training materials in the tuition, while others require the student to purchase these items separately.

Choosing a Pilates Instructor Certification Program

When you've decided you want to become a Pilates instructor, you'll find several online and offline Pilates instructor certification programs to choose from. Pilates teacher certifications requirements vary by school, and you may need to attend in-person training sessions, workshops and instructor-led group exercise courses in order to fulfill all of your requirements. Most schools and colleges that offer Pilates certification programs offer the following options:

  • Pilates Mat courses
  • Pilates Reformer courses
  • Pilates personal training sessions

Onsite Pilates training programs may include the use of Pilates equipment and apparatus, including trapezes, chairs, towers, barrels and other equipment. The full Pilates certification program is much more elaborate than standard mat training, because it incorporates in-depth exercises and full use of the Pilates apparatus and equipment.

The costs for Pilates instructor certification vary by school and geographical location, but most cost between $3,000 to $5,000 or more, including the cost of Pilates training materials and books.

Completing a Pilates Certification Program

In order to successfully complete a Pilates certification program, you will need to pass all of your quizzes and tests, log in a certain number of mat and class hours, complete a practical demonstration, and pass a final exam. Requirements for completing a Pilates certification program vary by school, but most require you to complete your courses within a six to twelve-month period, and to demonstrate a strong understanding of core exercises and techniques.

Career Options After Pilates Training

After you have completed your Pilates instructor certification program, you can explore a number of different career paths. Many people who take pilates classes and complete pilates certification requirements are eligible to apply for the following venues as a professional pilates instructor:

  • Health or wellness center
  • Community center
  • Hotel or resort fitness center
  • Private stress reduction or wellness retreat
  • Pilates studio
  • University or community college
  • Health care practitioner's office
  • Rehabilitation centers

Some chiropractors and wellness professionals work with Pilates instructors on a referral basis, and can help you build a private studio or business. You may also consider training other people in Pilates if you have obtained an upper-level pilates instructor certification.

Earning Potential with Pilates Certification

Pilates instructors who are hired by a gym, wellness center or other major employer may be paid an hourly rate ranging from $15 to $40, depending on the location, skill level of the instructor, and demand for the class. Individuals who complete Pilates certification courses and choose to work as an independent contractor may earn a percentage of the amount the studio is charging for classes, or they may pay a studio rental fee and keep all of their class fees.

Experienced Pilates instructors who offer personal training using Pilates machines, and individual, one-on-one personal training sessions, can earn between $35 to $100 per hour or more, depending on where they are offering their services, and the demand in their area.


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