Day: July 21, 2010

8 Simple Questions to Ask when Selecting a Pilates Instructor

It’s important to do your research when seeking out a Pilates instructor, but how do you know which Pilates instructor is best for you? Here are 8 simple questions to ask when searching for a Pilates instructor.

1. Are you a certified instructor?
Unfortunately for you, the consumer, an instructor can get “certified” by any variety of “Pilates” instruction. Therefore, you need to ask some follow-up questions.

2. What training program did you complete?
Your instructor should be certified through one of the Pilates master teachers (a person directly taught by Joseph Pilates). Some names you should listen for are: Romana Kryzanowska, Ron Fletcher, Lolita San Miguel, Mary Bowen, and Kathy Grant.

3. How many hours did your certification process require?
Your instructor should have at least 600 hours of apprenticeship, where he/she spent time observing, assisting, teaching student clients under supervision, and then instructing solo. Several written and practical exams are required for the trainees to become certified.

4. Are you current with your continuing education requirements?
Make sure he/she is current on their continuing education requirements, usually meeting a required number of hours in a workshop every year.

5. How many years have you been an instructor?
Look for an instructor who has at least 2 years of teaching experience.

6. What is your exercise philosophy or specialty?
This can vary greatly, so look for an instructor who meets your needs.

7. What is your experience with injuries?
A Pilates instructor should know about any condition that you may want to discuss and how to work with it, including musculo-skeletal conditions and auto-immune disorders.

8. Are you qualified to teach on all pieces of Pilates equipment?
Some certified Pilates instructors are trained only on certain pieces of equipment. However, an effective Pilates instructor should know how to safely use every piece of equipment so that he/she can assess and deliver the exercise that will benefit you the most.

Fortunately here at the Seattle Athletic Club, all of our Pilates Instructors meet or exceed those standards. However, we all have different styles, so please feel free to engage us in conversation about Pilates. We love to share our passion!