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What Are the Best Tips for Teaching Pilates?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 October 2016
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Pilates is a type of exercise program that can be somewhat difficult, especially for beginners, so when teaching Pilates, it is important for the instructor to take into account the ability levels of the class participants. To help make this recognition of ability levels easier, it is best to limit class sizes when teaching Pilates so each participant will get more one-on-one attention. The class should be tailored to a specific ability level; this will make it possible to group beginners with other beginners, intermediates with other intermediates, and experts with other experts.

One of the mistakes many Pilates instructors make is not making enough effort to keep the class fun. Teaching Pilates is about more than just getting people to exercise correctly; it is about teaching those people to develop healthy habits in the long run. One way to do this is to begin teaching Pilates in a way that keeps the activity fun for participants; they are more likely to want to keep doing Pilates if they have fun doing it, and the instructor should foster such attitudes. Engaging with participants is a great way to do this, and making sure each person is within their ability level, while still pushing comfort zones, is important as well.

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Of course, the effectiveness of any Pilates instructor will depend on his or her own knowledge of the exercise routines and his or her enthusiasm for Pilates. The best instructors will be enthusiastic and energetic, as these traits will be contagious. People who take the class will pick up on how the instructor is teaching Pilates, and the participants will mirror that enthusiasm. The instructor should, of course, know how to do all the exercises properly and safely, and he or she should be able to do all the exercises being taught.

The instructor must be clear with instructions and make smooth transitions between activities when teaching Pilates. This means working on being an effective communicator and ensuring each person in the class understands directions. In between exercises, the instructor should be providing encouragement and motivation to participants, or explaining carefully the next activity and why it is important. Repetition will be important, as many people will not hear or understand the directions at first. Some people learn better by watching, so the instructor will need to demonstrate the Pilates exercises before and during the set of exercises done by participants.

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