A Pilates teacher assists students by providing routines and ensuring that each move in a class is performed correctly. These professionals typically spend hundreds of hours training for certification, and may teach more than a dozen classes per week. A Pilates teacher can be a source of inspiration and advice for students, as well as a guide to improved fitness, strength, and flexibility through Pilates exercise.
Although certification requirements differ extensively, most Pilates instructors go through a basic training course that lasts several weeks or months. Upon successfully completing a training program, they may list themselves as certified instructors, which can help land jobs at gyms and exercise studios. Advanced Pilates teachers may also take additional training courses, and attend retreats, meditation seminars and courses, and other fitness training classes. Pilates teachers are sometimes also required to be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and basic emergency response skills in order to better protect their students.
A Pilates teacher may choose to offer individual sessions or group classes, depending on their personal skill set and preference. During classes, teachers lead students through a series of Pilates exercises, which are low-impact stretches and moves meant to increase strength and flexibility. Some prefer to work without props, but others may enjoy adding elements such as resistance bands, stability balls, and even free weights to a routine.
While giving instruction, a Pilates teacher must also carefully observe the students to make sure they are performing each exercise correctly. Proper form and posture are key to Pilates training, and incorrect form can lead to injuries, as well as inhibit progress. Some teachers may verbally instruct students to correct posture and form issues, while others like to work hands-on, touching students and helping them correct form one-on-one. Many also ask students to let them know if they have injuries so they can modify movements to aid with physical therapy or prevent additional strain.
In terms of scheduling, a Pilates teacher may have a very flexible work schedule, making this an excellent second job or profession for those with children and family responsibilities. If working as a private instructor, a teacher may take as many clients as he or she wishes, provided studio space is available. If working through a gym or exercise studio, classes and availability are typically negotiated between the teachers and the administration of the facility. Although many teachers start out with one class per week, they may be asked to teach additional classes if they prove popular and successful.