Pilates Teacher Training

Last Updated: June 13, 2022

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Pilates is a form of resistance training created by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s for the purpose of rehabilitation for war soldiers.

Since then, it has continued to be used by people worldwide due to its extensive benefits. These include increased flexibility, strength, and concentration.

In recent years, Pilates has experienced a surge in popularity, establishing itself as one of the most renowned forms of exercise.

What is Pilates Teacher Training

Pilates is a convenient and accessible form of training as all one needs is a mat and access to a computer or mobile device to explore a diverse array of Pilates workout videos.

The pilates industry has never been as popular as it is now, and with this increased following has come a surge in demand for pilates instructors.

With a strong need for pilates fitness teachers, many people are making a career change to the teaching practice. The first step in this career is pilates instructor training.

Embarking on the path of pilates teacher training demands a substantial mental and physical commitment and a significant investment of time and finances. But if one fully commits to this journey, the rewards will make it all worthwhile.

Requirements for Pilates Teacher Training

Many training programs will ask you to meet specific requirements before registering for the course. These requirements often include movement experience in sports, dance, or yoga.

Some will ask students to take several private classes with an instructor in the training program.

It can be beneficial to reach out to a local yoga instructor w to get their recommendation on programs in your area.

One should also be aware that one must keep learning through workshops and classes throughout one's career, even after obtaining one certification.

Continuing education will strengthen their knowledge and help further their career. Once their careers are established, many instructors aim to obtain their Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) certification.

This alliance governs the world body of Pilates. Before registering for any program, one should be aware that Pilates teacher training is a significant commitment and should be taken seriously.

Types Of Pilates Teacher Certifications

Being a Pilates instructor is a great career choice. It is challenging, constantly evolving, and highly rewarding.

The first step is to decide precisely what type of pilates teacher one wants to become. For this, there are two main options:

Mat Certification

The first option is to obtain one’s mat certification and become a mat instructor. These instructors teach classical Pilates at local gyms.

The fitness classes are performed and focus on improving core strength and general strengthening.

While teaching Pilates with a mat certification is possible, making a sustainable living solely from this can be challenging. Nonetheless, it serves as an excellent option for a part-time occupation.

Comprehensive Certification

The other option is to obtain one’s comprehensive certification.

A comprehensive program will prepare one to teach students using traditional Pilates equipment, including:

If the aspiration is to teach full-time, whether to large groups, in private training sessions, or through personal training, opting for a comprehensive program is the ideal choice.

How to Choose a Teacher Training Program

Before one selects a teacher training program to register for, one must first clarify one's reasons for seeking certification.

This clarity will guide their decision-making process, including training, costs, proficiency levels, and commitment considerations.

A comprehensive certification may not be necessary if the goal is to teach mat classes at a local fitness center.

Conversely, a comprehensive certification is essential for those aspiring to make Pilates instruction a full-time career or work in a Pilates studio setting.

Teacher training programs often fall into two categories:

  • Classical Pilates
  • Contemporary Pilates

Classical Pilates training imparts the original Pilates method developed by Joseph Pilates and Clara Pilates, while contemporary Pilates training encompasses a wide range of exercises focusing on rehabilitation.

The most appropriate program choice will depend on individual interests and career objectives.

Here is a list of some well-known Pilates certification programs:

Stott Pilates

Stott Pilates certified instructors are well regarded and recognized throughout the Pilates industry, making it a great course.

They teach contemporary pilates at essential, intermediate, and advanced levels. It suits beginner or experienced instructors and can help further their careers.

Balanced Body

Balanced Body teaches traditional education from Joseph Pilates, including each exercise's repertoire, movement principles, class design, and client-specific applications.

They have many course options, including mat instructor training, reformer instructor training, comprehensive training, or a combination of mat and reformer training.

Balanced Body can give you all the skills you need to be a good Pilates instructor.


Fletcher is one of the most comprehensive international Pilates educational programs.

It derives from the traditional Pilates methods developed by Joseph and Clara Pilates and expands them to include their evolution and interpretation by first-generation Pilates teacher Ron Fletcher.


Basi offers a mat program, a comprehensive program, advanced educational studies, and more. Because of the wide range of courses you can take, it suits beginner and advanced Pilates enthusiasts.

It will also help ensure that you secure continuing education credits from the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) for participants in these courses.

Basi programs are available in more than 30 countries with over 100 locations.


Equinox is one of the newest Pilates instructor programs available.

They have both comprehensive Pilates instructor training and mat certification courses.

The comprehensive program combines virtual and in-person training, whereas the mat certification can be completed virtually.

Club Pilates Teacher Training

Club Pilates teacher training is an established comprehensive training program that provides a challenging and nurturing learning environment.

The club Pilates teacher training will prepare practitioners to become full-time Pilates instructors if they wish.

As you master pilates exercises, you will also gain knowledge of applied kinesiology to help students with imbalances or injuries.

The course materials are highly accessible through an online portal, allowing you to learn at your own pace.

What To Expect From A Pilates Teacher Training Program

Training programs will have practical work hours. Having practical work hours means you spend time observing and learning exercises in a studio setting.

In addition, there will be a schedule for observation, self-practice, practicing teaching, and a final written exam and practical exam.

The program will begin with foundational mat work. Some training programs offer a stand-alone mat certification, while others provide comprehensive training. A mat certification requires very little equipment.

However, you may be asked to use a prop called a magic circle. This circular-shaped resistance equipment provides a variable amount of resistance to challenge practitioners as they perform mat work.

A mat certification course alone will consist of 150 to 180 hours of practice over six to twelve weeks.

In addition, many schools will require both a written and practical final exam at the end of the course. You will also complete an apprenticeship, where you will practice teaching pilates under supervision.

These additional factors make a Pilates mat certification course a longer commitment than yoga. Still, you can expect more pay as it is in higher demand.

If you are taking a comprehensive training program, the coursework will teach you about pilates using a mat, reformer, Cadillac, chair, ped-o-pul, barrels, and more.

Additionally, there will be educational lessons on the human body and modifications for different populations. Whether you are taking a program on mat work alone or a comprehensive course, they will be divided into modules.

A comprehensive course is 500 to 600 hours over six months to one year. Once you have completed the course modules, you will have 12 months to complete your written and practical examination.

Once you have passed the course, you will begin an apprenticeship as in a mat certification course. Here, you will practice teaching students.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many more online options are available than in-person training. However, most will require some in-person training.

Online training may not be ideal for all. Still, it has made pilates instructor training more accessible than ever before, as you can participate anywhere in the world.

Liability Insurance

Once one has completed the Pilates certification program, many studios will require one to obtain liability insurance. Liability insurance is an essential part of certification for all Pilates instructors.

Comprehensive pilates insurance will cover commercial general and professional liability insurance and contents.

Pilates teachers must have this before they practice teaching. It will protect you and the studio you work at from claims that you or the studio caused physical damage to the practitioner.

For a full-time instructor, this typically costs between $500 and $1000 per year. You can obtain this online through many websites, including Pilates Method Alliance (PMA), Idea Fit, and Lockton.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much is Pilates Teacher Training?

The training can be rigorous and may involve a significant financial commitment, depending on the institution where you are pursuing your studies and the level of certification you seek.

For instance, mat certification it may cost as little as $100 to $300. But to become fully trained and receive a comprehensive Pilates certification, you can expect to spend at least $4000.

Most programs have payment plans, which allow you to finance your certifications in several intervals.

Remember that there may be additional fees, so you must contact the Pilates program and ask questions before registering.

What is the Best Pilates Teacher Training Program?

There is no single best pilates program, as the course most suited to you depends on your preferences and goals.

Any program that allows you to obtain a comprehensive certification will help you achieve all your pilates teacher goals. Determining which one matches your interests the closest is up to you.

Many gyms and fitness centers ask for a Level 3 in teacher pilates. More specifically, the YMCA qualification.

These centers may be a good fit if you want to teach part-time in a gym rather than full-time in a studio.

Is Pilates Teacher Training Worth It?

If you love Pilates and aspire to grow your knowledge and teach Pilates practice, it is worth it.

Becoming a certified Pilates instructor is not easy; it will be a financial and mental commitment. It will take much hard work and dedication.

Therefore, it may not be the right choice for you if you are not interested in becoming a teacher and looking to gain more pilates experience.

You will have to commit yourself to the practice during your free time for up to two years.

However, if you are prepared to commit to the course, teaching pilates is an advantageous career choice.

How Long Does it Take to Train as a Pilates Teacher?

To be fully certified with a comprehensive Pilates certification, you must take a course that is 500 hours or longer.

This course will take place in modules and require anywhere from 12 to 24 months to complete.

You will need to dedicate yourself to the practice. Therefore, you must ensure that it is your career path before committing to the training.

If you are looking for a mat certification, this will take only 150 to 180 hours of training over six to twelve weeks.

A written and practical examination will be at the end of the comprehensive and mat certification courses.

Are Pilates Instructors in Demand?

Yes, pilates instructors are in demand throughout North America and Europe.

In addition, people who teach pilates often get paid even better wages than a personal trainer or yoga instructor.

If you are a full-time instructor, working 25 to 30 hours a week, your salary can be more than $50,000. There has never been a better time to become a Pilates professional.


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The contents of this article are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making any health-related changes or if you have any questions or concerns about your health. Anahana is not liable for any errors, omissions, or consequences that may occur from using the information provided.