What is Clinical Pilates?

Pilates is a method of exercise and movement reeducation based on interpretations of the work and teachings of Josef Pilates. Clinical Pilates is method adapted for therapeutic use by various health and fitness professionals and can be a form of specific exercise. It involves the use of specialised Pilates equipment to sup- port and guide the movement for the exercises. Clinical Pilates can include exercises that focus on trunk flexion, trunk extension, abdominal and back strengthening, and motor control or stabilisation.

Clinical Pilates is where Pilates programs are used as therapeutic exercise incorporating a wide range of Pilates exercises from Matwork to exercises performed on the entire range of Pilates equipment that focus on restoring and maintaining strength, endurance, flexibility, stability and balance. This was the initial premise of the Pilates method as developed by Joseph Pilates. The goal of Pilates is to provide exercises that will improve the bodies function and fitness and all comprehensive Pilates programs will include therapeutic exercises to return an injured client to a fully functioning, pain-free state as well as improve the individuals’ level of fitness.

This is what you will be able to do after training with us…..

Pilates Workshops for Teachers

Many practitioners, both new and old, are occasionally looking for workshops or ways to learn new skills. It is a fantastic way to bring different exercises or new techniques back to your studio or to the place where you work, and a excellent opportunity to re-discover your love for movement, teaching and wellness.

Tensegrity training offers a vast range of Short Courses and Government Accredited Qualifications for practitioners who already in the Pilates and movement industry or who would like to join these dynamic and ever growing specialties.

At the Pilates Qualification level we offer comprehensive courses in Pilates such as:

Certificate IV Instructor Training Course. This covers the essential skills and knowledge for executing and instructing Pre-Pilates and Pilates Traditional Matwork exercises and programs in a safe, effective and contemporary manner. Upon completion, graduates will receive a Certificate IV (52728WA) which is a nationally recognised qualification.

Diploma Instructor Training Course. This course will equip you with the skills and experience to be a capable Clinical Pilates Studio Instructor. The course will provide you with client assessment skills, exercise prescription, advanced teaching techniques, as well as a solid understanding of anatomy and physiology and associated pathologies.  This course covers all the Pilates equipment- The Reformer, The Cadillac, The Wunda Chair, The Barrel and smaller items such as the Roller and the Magic Circle.

Integrated Diploma Pilates Instructor Course. This is the integrated version which includes both the Certificate IV (52728WA) and the Diploma (10596NAT).  This course allows you to complete both qualifications and prepares you for entry into the Pilates industry- either as a highly skilled employee, or ready to open you own Pilates-based business.   Upon completion you will have receive a Certificate IV (52728WA) and the Diploma (10596NAT).

At the Short Course level we offer comprehensive courses in Pilates and Somatics:

For those who would prefer a Short Course for professional development or selective upskilling, Tensegrity Training also offers a range of ½ day, 1 day, 2 day and 3 day Courses, suitable for those who wish to add to their existing Pilates certification with some postgraduate study, or for those Allied Health professionals looking to add to their practice with a Nationally Recognised Professional Development Short Course for professionals in the Allied Health field.

Pilates Group Reformer Instructor Training Course. This course will enable you to safely teach clients in the group fitness context using the Pilates Reformer.  This multi-day Short Course will equip graduates with the skills required to develop into exceptional Pilates Professionals with knowledge and confidence to run Reformer-based classes and also articulate into the Certificate IV (52728WA) and the Diploma (10596NAT) in the future.

Barre-MindBody (Barre). In this course, you will be introduced to an intensive Barre workout incorporating movements choreographed to contemporary music. It is a total body workout for movers of all levels and a great deal of fun to teach, adding some spice to your weekly classes.  The fundamentals of Pilates are incorporated in a dynamic and exciting format.

Barrels Repertoire. Barrels are very versatile pieces of equipment and are used to challenge and provide variety for clients. In this half day course, you will learn to use Barrels exercises to cater to different levels of fitness and extend your clients.

Small Equipment/ Apparatus. This course will add huge variety to your classes. The course covers over 100 exercises ranging from rehabilitation-based repertoire to some very challenging advanced exercises to really extend your clients.

Cadillac Repertoire. This piece of equipment is great for rehabilitation, challenging clients or adding variety to classes in the studio or clinic. During the course, you will learn the full Cadillac repertoire from beginner through to advanced level.

Pregnancy in Motion. This course allows you to enhance your knowledge and skills when working with pre and post natal clients. This course takes you to the next level, covering specific pregnancy programming and issues to give you more confidence in instructing your pre and post-natal clients and providing dynamic active pelvic floor training

Somatic Movement Education.

This course is designed for practitioners looking to enhance the Somatic dimension of their work with clients. Somatics is a mindful technique, which facilitates greater mind-body integration, ease of movement and freedom in the body. This Somatic Education Unit introduces the somatic self, some somatic theory and exercises for assessing and somatically changing bodies so that they are free of the destructive effects of over contracted muscles and negative movement patterns.

For any questions on the courses offered, including dates and locations for training, please contact Tensegrity Training on [email protected] or call 0400 600 360.

Pilates Certification Cost

Pilates is a fast growing industry with the potential to provide a wide range of employment and business opportunities for new graduates.  Depending on the route you decide to take to gain a Pilates Certification, the cost varies greatly with the biggest differences hinging on a few factors: primarily, recognition of the course you wish to undertake.   Is the course a Government Accredited Qualification? And if so, at what AQG level is the course?  While there are also a large number of un-accredited Pilates courses out there, we will focus on the Government Accredited Qualifications and what they include.

The most popular Course pathways are listed below, and it is always important to consider the course content, delivery location and post course employability for each qualification to make the best and most informed decision.

Pilates Certifications

Group reformer: This is a relatively new qualification within the Pilates industry. The teacher training is generally quite short and costs less in comparison to the more in depth courses which will be described later. A graduate from a Group Reformer Instructor Course will deliver classes that are generally high energy and fitness-based with groups of 5+ Reformers in a studio/room.  This is usually from one generalised program which the instructor will oversee. So if you don’t have the time for the longer qualifications and wish to start working ASAP, this can be a quicker way to enter the workforce. The only potential disadvantage of this training option is are that an instructor who is only trained in Group Reformer Pilates are more common in the workforce, so a jobs may be more competitive, and some finer details of the Pilates method framework may not be covered in the course curriculum.

Certificate IV: Widely considered to be the most appropriate starting point and introduction to Pilates, a Course at the Certificate IV level should cover mat work, the fundamentals of the Pilates method as devised by Joseph Pilates and should also include attention to teaching methodolgies and client management.  Some Certificate IV courses also include ‘small apparatus’ such as the Magic Circle, the Foam Roller and other tools such as Balls and Bands. Graduates from a qualification at this level will be able to teach group mat classes and provide client rehabilitation for some pathologies, depending upon the depth of the material covered within the course. A Certificate IV level course takes slightly longer than a Group Reformer Instructor Training Course, however, a Certificate IV graduate will be eligible for membership with a range of Professional Association, and by extension, legally able to acquire the necessary insurances for working with the public. Starting a business as a Pilates Matwork Instructor is also a more cost effective than as the Group Reformer Instructor as the initial capital outlay costs of mats and apparatus is a fraction of the cost compared to even one reformer.

Diploma: A qualification at the Diploma level can present additional job opportunities for graduates as compared to the previous two Qualifications mentioned above.  Although a Course at the Diploma level is more in depth, longer and more expensive, the investment in the skills and knowledge which are included in a Diploma level qualification can deliver additional career and employment benefits in the longer term.

A Diploma course should include everything described about the Certificate IV Qualification, with the addition of tuition on all aspects of the equipment repertoire, and a more in-depth exploration of anatomy and pathology as well as aspect of pre and postnatal care. With this qualification graduates can do anything from working within a studio environment to starting a Pilates-based business to working alongside a Physiotherapist/Chiropactor/Osteopath or another allied health practitioner.

With some thought being given to time and financial constraints, there are important aspects of all training programs that should be considered prior to enrolling.   We encourage everyone to make sure you choose a course and organisation that offers you the quality training needed to become a confident, employable instructor.   Make contact with the trainer providers you are interested in and ask them questions about their graduates and about the things that you will learn in their training programme.  We wish you all the best in your Pilates journey!

Pilates Instructor Requirements

The requirements for becoming a Pilates Instructor depend greatly on what kind of instructor you wish to become. Some level of qualification is highly recommended for every tier of the professiona, however, there are varying degrees of both the quality of the coursework and the length of time required to study the course of your choice.

Are there any prerequisites to study Pilates?

There are generally no prerequisites for the study of Pilates if you intend to start at the Certificate IV level.  Ideally though, your body should be fit, healthy and capable of reaching a highly competent level with the Pilates repertoire.

Although you don’t need to be the fittest or the best at Pilates to start an instructor training course, you will, however, make an example when you are in front of your clients, and therefore many instructors have to make a point to set aside personal practice time!

While you are learning to be a Pilates Instructor you will definitely need to be able to demonstrate at least a few repetitions of each exercise in the repertoire included within your qualification, so fitness is important and also being willing to learn new and exciting exercises is part of the process.

We also recommend that practicing Pilates yourself for some time before starting to study is always beneficial (although not entirely essential), so that you will hopefully already be familiar with some of the principles of Pilates.

Lastly, having language, literacy and numeracy skills sufficient to understand anatomy & physiology terms, pathology terms and the ability to communicate with clients and other Allied Health professionals is a must.  While the ‘language’ of movement is universal, the terms that are used in anatomy and physiology often come from Greek and Latin- so be prepared for some words that are not entirely familiar in day-to-day English.

Once you are confident that you meet the entry requirements, next is to decide which course you wish to undertake.

Which Pilates Instructor Training is right for me?

A Pilates Instructor may hold a range of qualifications:

  • Group reformer. This qualification is arguably the least regulated of all the current offerings within the Pilates industry. In many of these ‘courses’, the Pilates repertoire is taught ‘in house’ by fellow staff members who may (or may not) have any qualifications themselves. While this can be an easy ‘on the job’ training for new staff members, it is always advisable to ask about WHO is running the ‘in house’ training, what their qualifications are and what sort of outcome or certification you will get at the end of the training programme.   Many of these ‘in house’ training programmes are simply an array of exercises to be performed (which you will be asked to memorise), to be delivered to groups of 7+ clients by one instructor with little to no regard of pre-existing conditions. There, are, however, some courses that are more in-depth than others so it definitely is a good idea to ensure that the instructor will be delivering enough knowledge of the body for you as a student to deliver any of your classes in a safe manner.
  • Certificate IV Level Pilates Instructor. The title of a course like this suggests that the training is Government Accredited and therefore you (as the student) will have some assurances that the instructor should know the entire Pilates matwork repertoire with regressions, progressions and variations to the exercises taught. The trainer should at least have the same Qualification that they are teaching you (ie the trainer should have a Certificate IV level Qualification already) and also they should have a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.   This will assure you, as the student, that the trainer has the skills necessary to assess you as you undertake your training.   At this level, you should expect a course that will impart to you knowledge of the correct Pilates breathing and a solid grasp of anatomy, physiology and pathologies. This qualification may also include some basic Pilates equipment such as Magic circle, Foam Roller and other small apparatus exercises depending on the course.
  • Diploma of Pilates. As well as everything described about the Certificate IV level qualification, a Diploma qualified instructor should also know all aspects of the equipment repertoire, covering the Reformer, Cadillac, Barrel and Wunda Chair. The training program should also go more in-depth to cover anatomy and pathology knowledge, enabling a graduate to work alongside a Physiotherapist or any other Allied health practitioner for rehabilitative purposes as well as being able to work with pre and postnatal clients.
  • Advanced Diploma of Pilates. As a postgraduate course, an Advanced Diploma would have all the content and depth as the Certificate IV and Diploma level courses and would also delve further into the rehabilitative applications of the Pilates method and the management of chronic pain, neurological conditions, musculoskeletal injuries and cancer. Some courses may also offer various forms of Somatic therapies such as Hanna Somatics, a sensory-motor training technique that marries very well into the advanced Pilates practice

The pros and cons of each of these options should be weighed against what you hope to get out of a career or job in the Pilates industry.   Once those considerations have been made, you are ready to embark on your exciting new journey into the world of movement and rehabilitation. We highly recommend that you contact any training provider directly and ask them questions about where their previous graduates have found employment or what other successful outcomes they have experienced.  The goal of any programme is to equip graduates with the skills and knowledge that they need- so go get yours!

How to start a Pilates Studio?

One of the big questions that many practitioners ask themselves is “How do a start my own Pilates Studio”?   When an experienced practitioner is ready to ‘go out on their own’ and how they go about doing it, are excellent questions!

A Pilates career has the opportunity to be very lucrative, but like anything else, to succeed it must be done correctly and especially nowadays because Pilates is in vogue, studios are opening up in metro and regional centres- popping up in gyms and health clubs, and even appearing in aged care and assisted living facilities.   The best way to make a lasting impact on the clients is to find what it is about the Pilates method that inspires and drives you, and then to bring these elements into your own business model.

Do your Pilates and demographic research

It is always best to do extensive research into what you think it will take to run the sort of studio that you want to run and then take that forward into your planning stages.  Also connect with instructors far and wide and learn from their experiences- don’t be shy about asking them what they did when they started out. Running a studio is not for the faint hearted but it can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your professional career.

Choose your Pilates business strategy

Deciding which business strategy you will use can take time- ensuring that you have sufficient money, potential staff, and a desire to create the studio that you envision may be the most difficult decisions you initially will make as an instructor. Figuring out how your business sits within the existing community is something else to consider. Who are you targeting with your Pilates? What are you prepared to offer and to what demographic? This will determine greatly the kind of equipment you buy- do you want a simple studio just full of Reformers vs a fully equipped studio that includes Wunda Chairs, Cadillacs and Barrels?  Also considering how much money you will put into initial and ongoing advertising and where to advertise are important points when starting a new Pilates studio.

Working in a Pilates studio vs. opening your own

The base wage for a Pilates Instructor is generally around $35 an hour, depending on the studio, the location and the level of experience and qualifications you may have. Working within a Pilates studio is generally not a ‘nine to five’ job as you may have the opportunity to work eight hours a day but the hours are more likely to be starting earlier than 9am and probably also finishing later than 5pm.   This will most likely be the same if you run your own studio, but you have the potential to get other staff members to cover various times of the day.

What style of Pilates studio do you want to open?

If you have a large amount of space available, starting at least a portion of your studio as a Mat Pilates area has a low start-up cost but provides a consistent earner if sessions are well attended.   Mat participants may pay anywhere from $10-$20 per class, and with groups of 6 or more in each class, a studio like this can easily yield upwards of $1500 a week, by teaching only 4 hours a day depending on your location, and skill in teaching.

If you have less space available but a greater amount of money able to be invested in the start-up, then an equipment-based studio may be more up your alley. Clients will most always pay more for equipment classes than mat sessions, and even though the initial outlay costs are far greater than setting up a mat studio, the returns can be higher.  A studio with 5 reformers could potentially earn $3000 per week, still teaching 4 hours a day.

Continuing the level of studio complexity and specialization further, to open a rehabilitation studio where the practitioners offer private sessions along with also doing some small group classes- the studio can actually be initially cheaper than an all reformer studio, as the final setup cost is broken up considerably by the price difference between Reformers and Wunda Chairs, etc. A small rehabilitation studio, with five varied pieces of Pilates equipment, specialised programming and a range of one on one sessions offered could easily make the same as a purely reformer studio, but with a lower start up cost and a more committed client base that comes regularly for pathology rehabilitation as well as for fitness and wellbeing.

Where are you located?

Lastly there is the question of the actual space itself.   Most commonly studios are started by the rental of a business space and running of the studio from that space. In regional areas, some unique and alternative spaces can often be found- old churches, former retail spaces, theatres, community halls, etc.   The possibilities are endless!

Some astute new studio owners actually purchase the building or site and then create the studio in their own investment property.  This can be an outstanding investment and enable a rental return as well as the studio income to increase the business revenue.

Another option is to have the new studio co-located in an existing Allied Health facility- such as a Physiotherapy/Chiropractic practice or sharing space with yoga/movement or other modalities.

Where to from here?

The most cost and time consuming aspect, can be having staff working in the studio.  This does, however enable the studio to run consistently and can overall provide the business with more time to pursue other interests or ventures. A small studio with 5 pieces of equipment and one staff member could easily have a gross earning potential of over $7000 a week. Of course, this depends greatly on the location and times offered by your studio.  However, with the right location, marketing and expertise, owning and operating a Pilates studio can comfortably satisfy even the hungriest entrepreneur.