One of the most frequent questions I get asked by potential Pilates students is, which pilates training course should I do? Some people think that they need to do matwork first and only then can they train on the Pilates apparatus. Certainly if you intend to teach mainly group matwork classes then this is the course to commence with. However if your goal is to work in a Pilates studio environment, then taking the comprehensive course could be a more cost effective course to take in the long run. Here are some encouraging stats for pursuing a career in Pilates.
- 7 out of 10 people will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. Pilates is now recognised as an excellent way to prevent and alleviate back pain
- The annual growth in Pilates between 2002 and 2012 was 12.1%
- Pilates studios were highly resistant to the recession. Instead of negative growth in 2008 and 2009 revenue merely slowed and is now increasing rapidly.
As we become more health conscious, more and more people participate in Pilates; even previously untapped groups like men and the elderly. There is also a significant spike in interest among professional athletes, coaches and sports therapists.
Equipment Versus Matwork
First, only 25% of the Pilates repertoire can be performed on a mat. Therefore the vast majority of Pilates exercises require the Pilates apparatus. Jospeh Pilates referred to his Pilates equipment as ‘apparatus’. The equipment (or apparatus) was designed to speed up the process of stretching, strengthening, and improving body alignment.
The reformer was one of Joe’s original inventions and today is one of the most popular pieces of equipment. More and more studios are now running reformer classes. These classes are proving to be extremely popular as the pulleys and springs enable the client to take Pilates to a new level, facilitating a better initial understanding and connection with their bodies compared to mat work alone. With the extensive repertoire available for the reformer, it is particularly well suited for use in large groups doing synchronised exercises, also enhanced with the aid of props (box, arcs, etc).
The Trapeze Table
The trapeze table was designed by Joe whilst he was interned on the Isle of Man during WW1. He attached springs to the bedposts of the infirmed prisoners. This facilitated circulation and therefore healing by moving the injured limbs in ranges that patients could not otherwise perform, thereby restoring function and muscle strength.
The chair was invented later as a result of Joe observing Chinese acrobats on a box. He had strong beliefs of how we should sit and felt modern chairs compromised optimal posture. Exercises on the chair are often used to challenge balance and strength.
The Spine Corrector (arc) and Ladder Barrel
The spine corrector (arc) and ladder barrel are excellent for stretching, aligning and strengthening the spine.
Why are Pilates Studios so profitable?
While the gym industry has been predominantly taken over by global operators; this has not happened to Pilates studios. The majority of Pilates studios are small owner-operated businesses; this is mainly due to the specialist nature of the apparatus and teaching. This means that setting up a studio can be a very profitable business once you have become a fully qualified studio teacher.
As more clients discover the benefits of working with the Pilates apparatus, we are seeing a shortfall in the number of qualified practitioners able to work in studios. This is particularly the case outside London – we are frequently being asked to help studio owners desperate to find good, qualified studio instructors. A regular client at our own studio Moss Pilates comes from Cardiff. She was telling me how she would love to set up a studio in Cardiff as there is not a single equipment-based centre in the city. As a banker in London, she has the financial means to set a place up. The problem though is where would she find the teachers?
Which Course should I do?
This brings us back to the original question; what course should you do? If you are planning to teach group mat classes then the Polestar Pilates mat course is the one for you. If however, you would like to become a comprehensive Pilates teacher and be able to work with all of the apparatus and all of the repertoire as well as the mat, then our comprehensive course is the one for you.