Tips for Pilates Instructors

Tips for Pilates Instructors

Hi fitties! In this article I am sharing some handy tips for Pilates Instructors. Becoming a Pilates Instructor is very exciting as you get the chance to share your passion with other people. In meantime you are helping them with working on their body, mind and health. 

“Pilates is complete coordination of body mind and spirit.” – Joseph Pilates

***I am a Certified POP Pilates Instructor, which is a different form of Pilates. My tips below are for both regular Pilates – and POP Pilates Instructors. 

Tips for Pilates Instructors

Get to know your class

As a Pilates Instructor it is very important to get to know the people in front of you. With this I mean get to know their injuries, weaker body parts, (fit)journey, physical pain, etc.. You can start your class by asking your students if they have any pain or difficulties. Most students will say nothing due to being shy, but will mostly come to your after class.

After a few weeks or months you will get to know most regular members and their needs. Look at the personal in general when giving options so they know you are talking to them and that they need to follow these cues.

Guide your students during class

I always show the most difficult movements and options before starting the exercises, so my students know what’s coming next. I will start the exercise with easy options and cue my more advanced students to build up their moves (f.e. : going from Low Plank Hip Dips into the harder Plank variation).

Once the exercise starts, it is important to cue your students with counts and words, f.e. “only 8 more!… 4 3 2 1 switch sides” ; “inhale down, exhale up” ; “Tuck the navel in and keep your core engaged”. Your students need your guidance, trust me! 

Tips for Pilates Instructors
– Upward Dog –

Give options

Every person and body is different. That’s why you always need to give easier and slower options of the exercises. If a certain movement doesn’t work for one person due to injuries or any other reason, you can suggest another move which feels better for him or her.

You can also tell them to insert a moment of rest when needed. Beginners or people with injuries will need more breaks, so make sure they feel like they can do this whenever they feel like it.

Be prepared

Practice your class at home, because it is very unprofessional to show up unprepared. But don’t worry if you’re forgetting a certain movement during your class. I mostly just invent another move that fits in the exercise. Your students don’t know your choreography, so they won’t notice your mistake as long as you’re taking professional care of it.

  • Make sure your phone, tablet or other music device is charged
  • Put your mobile device on ‘Silent mode’ or ‘Airplane modus’
  • Check your playlist and update if necessary
  • Make sure you know every move and all the variations
  • Make notes and bring them with you to your class if you feel like you will forget something
  • Bring your own towel and a mat to the class, because honestly.. I don’t like to use gym mats since everyone is using these. And they are mostly smaller and thicker than a Yoga- or Pilates mat.
  • Bring water! Talking + performing the routine + making sure your students are in a proper form can be pretty exhausting (in a good way). You can take a sip of water in between two tracks or during a small break, but don’t drink too much.

Have fun!

A Pilates class shouldn’t be boring or “too hard”, it should be fun! And that’s why I tend to use small talk or little jokes in my classes. Some exercises are really hard (f.e. Earthquake or Teaser holds) and that’s why your students will need the little distraction. Just make sure to still give them cues to stay in a proper form.

I also smile a lot during my classes, because I just feel so grateful and happy to be able to teach POP Pilates to all those amazing people! And some people don’t receive lots of smiles from others, so why not share yours?!

Just be your amazing self and share your positive vibes with the world! 

Tips for Pilates Instructors
– Butterfly Pose –

Guide your students through the breathing

Breathing is one of the most important parts of the Pilates work-out. People tend to hold their breath when something is difficult, so that is why it is very important to guide your students through their breathing.

Tip: Inhale when it’s easy, exhale when it’s out.

I receive a lot of questions from new members on how to breathe properly during the Pilates exercises. Most newbies will focus more on a proper form instead of on the breathing. It’s a lot of information to process, so give them time to catch up.

To be honest, I also used to be a breathe wrongly until I understood how to get correctly in a position and to maintain a proper form. Once I got there, I focussed on my breathing and noticed it was a real challenge to inhale when it’s easy and to exhale when it’s hard. After a while it became a habbit and my Pilates workouts felt like a natural flow. So give your students the time they need to be able to follow your classes. 

Tips for Pilates Instructors
– Pigeon Pose –

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Are you already following me on Instagram? Let’s connect!

Liefs, Debby

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