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Pilates Reformer Teacher Training

What is a Pilates Reformer?  This unique ‘machine’ was developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1950s using a combination of springs, pulleys and straps and a moving carriage. Until relatively recently the use of the Reformer and understanding of the potential for developing the muscles with the resistance with it was under-appreciated and definitely outside of the mainstream.  Not anymore!

Initially Pilates was probably thought of as a modality that should be lumped in somewhere between yoga and aerobic fitness classes. But nowadays, as people from the general public move more and more into taking care of their bodies and becoming informed about what does and doesn’t work for them, Pilates is experiencing a huge growth phase and as a result the demand for instructors is growing exponentially.   From Pilates mat classes by the beach to specific rehabilitation in Physiotherapy clinics, Pilates is aiding people in strengthening, lengthening and toning their muscles while developing better awareness of themselves and their body.

Pilates Reformer Studios

One of the biggest expansions is in Pilates studios (and gyms) that focus on the provision of Pilates Reformer classes.  These studios (and gyms), and their classes, have greatly increased in popularity in recent years and the clients who are enjoying these classes come from all walks of life- from young and fit sporty types to retirees wanting to stay mobile and healthy with gentle but directed exercise programmes.

This style of Pilates has developed into something better known (and commonly called) Group Reformer. These sessions, and the studios who offer them- as the name suggests are delivering classes that are composed solely of Reformer exercises, with anywhere from 5-12 reformers in a room and with usually just one instructor overseeing the group.

As a client or participant in these sessions you are ideally healthy and relatively injury free.  This ensures that these classes are a fun and dynamic way to get out and move your body, making use of the straps, pulleys and resistance to bring your body into completely new movement patterns and strengthen muscles that you didn’t even know you had!

Training to work in a Pilates Group Reformer Studio

It is very important, therefore that as the instructor of these Group Reformer sessions that you have proper training necessary to confidently run a session for a large group of people, taking into account all the various needs and ability levels that such a large and diverse class will present.

The Pilates Group Reformer instructor training is generally a shorter course than a full Pilates qualification at the Certificate IV or Diploma level, given that you really need only study the Reformer repertoire and cover topics about how to teach effectively.

Depending on the caliber of studio/gym that you intend to work in, the level of training expected will be different depending on the type/style/number of Group Reformer classes being offered. Some studios (and gyms) have a pre-set routine for clients who have passed a rigorous screening period and already know how to perform the exercises in their own bodies.  These are the easiest to teach.

Other studios (and gyms) may focus on the more rehabilitation-based aspects of Pilates during some small group sessions but will also offer Group Reformer classes to their clients at other times of the day.   Given that most of the clients attending a studio (or gym) will be expecting a more experienced Pilates Instructor in the smaller or even one on one classes, it would be advisable to have a more rigorous Qualification.  This way you and your employer can feel more confident that you are able to respond appropriately to the needs presented and deliver both types of Pilates Reformer classes.

The Pilates industry is a fun, dynamic and fantastic industry to enter in any capacity, so whether you decide to just do a Short Course on the Pilates Reformer enabling you to teach some high energy and dynamic sessions, or do a full Qualification with an in-depth focus on the full range of Pilates equipment- you will be rewarded. Pilates will provide you with an outlet to be creative and fluid, and to bring that fluidity and strength forward to help others reach their highest potential.

Pilates Courses South Australia

Tensegrity Training provides Pilates teacher training in many locations throughout Australia and we can also arrange to come to you at your venue even if you are off the beaten track or unable to attend one of our many, picturesque training locations.

Adelaide, South Australia

If you are anywhere near the capital of South Australia, Adelaide, then we highly recommend our SA course provider, Leanne Mollison at Queen St Pilates.

Leanne has over 19 years experience teaching Pilates in Australia and overseas, and she has also been a professional dancer with major dance companies such as Australian Dance Theatre, Leigh Warren and Dancers, Expressions Dance Company and Dance North.

Leanne developed and wrote South Australia’s first Certificate IV and Diploma level Pilates Qualifications and she delivered these courses for five years in South Australia. She also designed and offered an industry-based Pilates Therapy Instruction in Mat and Equipment Work course and provided the first ever Pilates training to Adelaide and South Australia.

Her qualifications and experience include:

Associate Diploma of Arts (Dance)

Diploma of Pilates Therapy Instruction

Diploma of Contemporary Pilates and Teaching Methodology

Certificate IV in Pilates Therapy Instruction

Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

Certification in Applied Kinesiology (Working Body, USA)

Leanne is the Director of Queen St Pilates in Adelaide located at Croydon.

Queen St Pilates, Adelaide

Queens St Pilates is a fantastic example of a well run and professional studio, with the inviting space setting you at ease and creating a real sense of peace and calm from the minute you enter. It also boasts on site Physiotherapy, Massage, Boutique Retail, a gallery and even a community garden!  Certainly the studio has come a long way from its humble beginnings in the front room of Leanne Mollisons’ home in 2004.

Queen St Pilates is housed in the historic 102 year old Ancient Order Of Druids Meeting Hall in Croydon’s retro precinct and has been operating as a specialist studio for the last 13 years.

What better way to immerse yourself not just in training and the Pilates method but also to experience the synergy of all aspects of health coming together to form the vast tapestry that is the allied health professions all housed at Queen St Pilates. The team of extensively experienced Pilates practitioners at Leanne’s Pilates studio are on hand to guide students through the practical teaching learning journey, providing the competence to step into the industry with many hours of teaching skills behind you.

Somatic Exercises

But what does “Somatics” mean? The word itself is derived from the Greek word “Soma” meaning “the living body”. Somatics is a broadly used term to describe the mind and body, not as separate entities but as complex married couple, intertwined within a constant dance of effect and affect. When care and thought are given to how the two may work together instead of apart, this coupling assists each other in bringing forth healing and growth. Hence, while the exercises are indeed a major component, the manner in which the exercises are performed is also of paramount importance.

How are Somatic exercises done?

The movement patterns that the exercises bring you through are meant to involve the contraction and then the slow release your muscles.  DOING THESE EXERCISES VERY SLOWLY AND CONCISELY IS IMPORTANT.

To move slowly (It helps to close your eyes) is to give your brain the chance to notice all that is happening in your body as you perform these easeful exercises. Slow movement, coupled  with mindfulness and breath is the foundation of the partnership between body and mind, and the key to your Somatic practice.

Our muscles contract and hold tension as we navigate our busy lives, oftentimes in a sub-optimal position, causing much pain and/or discomfort.

What causes chronic muscle tension?

These chronic muscle contraction patterns created by past experiences are unconsciously retained and the muscle(s) in question often become exceedingly difficult to release over time. Thomas Hanna, the creator of Hanna Somatics named this tendency “sensory-motor amnesia”. Hanna Somatics enables the individual to use the brain to overcome sensory-motor amnesia and the negative effects of stress, trauma and aging. It empowers us to hear more clearly the wisdom of our bodies.

What is Sensory-Motor Amnesia?

Sensory-motor amnesia is most often caused by three main processes within the body/mind.

  1. The Trauma Reflex – This occurs as a protective muscular response to severe injury. It is the reflex of pain avoidance but it may also manifest psychosomatically in response to intense feelings, cringing, for example, is the overt manifestation of this reflex.
  2. The Startle Reflex –  This reflex occurs as a stress response to threatening or worrisome situations. Just as with the Trauma reflex, these may be actual or imagined. But still have a very real effect on the body.
  3. The Landau Response – Perhaps the most commonly occurring response within the bodymind, The Landau response Our state of being in life is evident through our breathing patterns and to fully breathe is to fully engage with oneself and with the environment occurs in situations where action is demanded of the person, for example, a knock on the door, the ring of the telephone, a response to a request, and so forth.

Given the physical and mental basis of these reflexes, Somatic practice can greatly assist individuals suffering from stress, anxiety, depression and grief.  Clients from all walks of life can benefit greatly from Somatic therapy, especially those cases where traditional remedies have not been satisfactory in the treatment of the ailment in question. The focus on breath as a carrier of life and healing throughout, renders this practice as a staple for those with busy lifestyles where the need for breath is not always considered. Our state of being in life is evident through our breathing patterns and to fully breathe is to fully engage with oneself and with the environment.   Bring a new dimension to your practice and find out more by taking a course.

Somatic exercises are taught in Tensegrity Training’s Diploma Instructor Training Course and also as included in the Short Course, Somatic Movement Education.

Tensegrity Training’s Somatic courses come with a full guide to the Hanna Somatic exercises, as well as a comprehensive video to couple with the kinesthetic experience of face to face learning.

Pilates Courses VIC

Tensegrity Training has a number of training venues throughout Australia, including several in Victoria.  Each of our training venues has well accomplished instructors who have chosen to bring their passion for Pilates into our instructor training Qualification(s) and Short Course(s).  Our aim is to ensure that the rate of highly competent instructors entering the Pilates industry increases with every year.

For students who are based in Melbourne, or are ready and able to travel to Melbourne for your Pilates Instructor training we have a course provider for Victoria, Bruce Hildebrand. Bruce is the co-founder of Balance & Control Pilates, and he has delivered Pilates Instructor training programs since 2012- bringing decades of experience both in Australian and overseas to every one of his training sessions.  Bruce now delivers the Tensegrity Training Certificate IV (52728WA) and Diploma (10596NAT) qualifications in Melbourne and across Victoria.

Bruce also offers training in Wangaratta, Warragul and on the Mornington Peninsula of Victoria for students in these more regional locations.  We recommend that you contact Bruce directly for more information on dates and locations for the regional training.  We can also bring our training to your venue in any area of Victoria, just contact us and let us know your specific requirements.

Bruce himself has participated in a wide range of sports including tennis, cricket and baseball with his main achievements being in AFL football. He was vice-captain of the VFL Under 19 representative team in 1995, and played at this state level for 4 years in the Victoria Football League and the Western Australia Football League. Bruce originally trained in Pilates in 1999 with in the UK with Body Control Pilates, working alongside some of their most experienced training teachers in the central London studios. He trekked the Inca Trail to Macchu Pichu in Peru in 2000, sailed the Atlantic Ocean on crew with a maxi-yacht in 2001, and ran the 2002 London Marathon.In 2003 Bruce was invited to manage the first Body Control Pilates UK studio in Scotland, where he worked with members of UK rock band Radiohead and members of the cast of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

As an adult, Bruce studied classical ballet for 6 years and has performed in a handful of amateur productions. He also served as consultant Strength Coach to the Australian Ballet School from 2005-2011. He has trained a number of elite Australian sport and art performers. Bruce enjoys the discipline of learning the piano, and the joy of being a devoted husband and father to two young children.

Bruce came back to Australia and established Balance and Control Pilates- nestled comfortably in High Street in Prahran and with another studio in Richmond, Balance & Control was established in 2004 and the studios grew in to one of Melbourne’s leading specialist Pilates and Physiotherapy practices, treating a wide range of individuals from elite athletes and dancers focused on improving their performance, injury rehabilitation, senior classes and general strength and mobility work for the discerning individual. Balance & Control studios are known for their outstanding calibre of instructors and physiotherapists with many Melbourne area Pilates instructors and other professionals in the movement field come to Balance and Control Pilates Studios for their personal practice.

With our Nationally accredited training available around Australia, and world-class eLearning systems in conjunction with the face to face training, students have the flexibility to learn when and where they want.

Our courses are delivered in both metro and regional areas and we can also bring our trainers to your location to make the best possible Pilates training available to your staff.

How Do I Become a Group Reformer Instructor?

Group Reformer Studios are extremely popular and the demand for qualified Instructors is growing. Employers are looking for staff who are well trained and good at running creative, challenging and fun classes on the Pilates Reformer.

So, to become qualified in this field and to be able to offer full body workouts using the Pilates Reformer it is advisable to enroll in a course designed specifically to give you these skills. The Tensegrity Training’s Pilates Group Reformer Instructor (PGR) Training course is comprehensive and covers all aspects of the theory of teaching exercise together with extensive Reformer Essentials and Reformer Intermediate/Advanced repertoire that will excite anyone interested in Pilates.

There certainly are many other courses available but the Tensegrity Training course is the only course written specifically for Group Reformer classes that has Government Accredited outcomes. The course involves both online learning and practical face-to-face components where students have the opportunity to practice teaching each other with valuable feedback and guidance from their Course Provider.  You will graduate from this course with the following units of competency.

-ARTMAT401 Apply Basic Anatomy in Pilates

-ARTMAT405 Active Dynamic Pelvic Floor Training

-ARTMAT407 Teach Pilates Choreography Flow

-PILEQU501 Teach Reformer repertoire

We pride ourselves on producing exceptionally skilled Instructors who are equipped to work in a variety of settings catering to a range of client levels, abilities and experience.

Join this exciting and interesting vocation now!