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We’re very proud here at our Reformer Pilates studios in Essex to have an exceptional pool of talent when it comes to our Pilates teachers. It’s not easy recruiting such high calibre instructors. Those who combine experience, passion, personality and the ability to count! (that’s a studio joke by the way! Let’s just say that 3 out of 4 ain’t bad!)

Getting To Know Your Instructors

Over the coming months, you’ll have a chance to get to know them all better as we put them through a quickfire Q&A session. If you have any burning questions you want to ask your instructors, please drop us a line. We’re mostly going to be focussing on their extensive training and background. Asking why they got hooked on Pilates in the first place and why they think Reformer Pilates is such an amazing form of exercise. 

If there’s something that you always wanted to ask but were too shy, fire away. We’ll ask it for you!

Vilma
Just one of your lovely Pilates Instructors, Vilma, here at Contour Pilates

So What Does It Take to Be Reformer Pilates Instructor?

The first thing we’ll say is that all our instructors at CONTOUR Pilates are highly qualified and skilled, even those that have come up through the ranks, turning their passion for practising Pilates into a new found career. 

To be a Pilates teacher requires a multitude of skills. It goes without saying that a passion for Pilates is a pre-requisite, but you also need to be a great communicator and get a buzz from working with people and seeing their progression. 

You don’t need to be a fitness model to be a Pilates instructor, so forget about all those glamorous Instagram accounts you might be following. Pilates is taught by real people and practised by real people. However, it certainly helps if your Pilates teacher is a motivational role model who actively leads a healthy lifestyle. 

Besides all of that, a Reformer Pilates Instructor needs to be patient with beginners, persistent when clients start to lose focus, creative with putting together classes that offer diversity and retain interest and overall, effective motivators. 

The style in which they might achieve this will likely differ but the end results will be the same. Providing a safe, non-judgemental and supportive (even sociable) environment in which to create that long, lean and toned muscle and strong, powerful core that will support you through everyday life.

Clients being adjusted by their Pilates Instructor

Liking Pilates And Teaching It Are Two Very Different Things

You might have been coming to classes now for a while and think that a new career as a Pilates instructor is right for you. If so, excellent! We look forward to taking one of your classes in the future. 

Before you go ahead and book yourself onto a course we recommend you ask yourself a couple of vital questions:

  • Do you like standing on your feet all day? That’s pretty much what Pilates instructors have to do.
  • Do you genuinely get a kick out of helping people? You’ll spend all day listening to other people tell you about their aches and pains and spend little time taking care of your own!
  • Do you like to teach? Loving the practice of Pilates as a participant is very different from teaching and explaining each move.
  • Do you truly understand the concept and benefits of Pilates? By that, we mean “proper” Pilates. The kind that was developed by Joseph Pilates and not the latest fad that’s marketed as a quick fix to achieving a slim body!
  • Are you truly ready to learn? By learning, we really do mean understanding what every single muscle in the body does. How they’re all inter-connected. Each muscle action and opposing reaction. Every insertion point. You need to fully understand the anatomy before you even start to learn the exercises.
  • Last but by no means least, are you able to touch someone’s bare feet or sweaty back! We’re being serious! Pilates is touchy-feely and even micro-adjustments require a bit of hands-on action. 

If you answered yes to all of those questions, then you have the fundamentals to become a Pilates instructor. It’s now time to get those all important qualifications.

You need to be prepared to get “hands-on” as a Pilates Instructor

How To Prepare For Pilates Teacher Training

We touched on the importance of understanding anatomy and it’s no surprise that many instructors already come from a fitness or dance background. It’s a natural transition to make from these disciplines into the world of Pilates. That said, as you will find out when we reveal our CONTOUR instructor Q&A series, we have instructors from colourful and varied backgrounds.

Its hard to believe that it has been around for close to 100 years. The popularity of Pilates has been steadily increasing and for decades now it’s been one of the top fitness trends. The positive side of this is that professional qualifications and courses to ensure the safe and standardised practice have been introduced. Also, the demand for pilates teachers is at an all time high. However, don’t be fooled for one instance into believing this is a “cool and trendy” quick and easy career change to make. It isn’t! It requires considerable time, commitment and a financial expense. 

There are no gimmicks at CONTOUR Pilates and the one thing you can be assured of is that you are absolutely in a safe and qualified pair of hands, whether its the first or one-hundredth time you’ve used one of our state of the art reformer beds. 

Pilates Instructor Certification

There are two types of Pilates certification (although numerous courses and derivatives), namely Mat Pilates or Comprehensive Pilates which covers off all the Pilates equipment. We’re primarily a Reformer Pilates studio, so our instructors may well have a Mat Pilates certification but they will also have Comprehensive training too. 

Added to that, they are professional and have many advanced level certifications as well as more specialised training dealing with rehabilitation, pre and postnatal and also sport-specific Pilates training. You might be surprised to learn just how many qualifications some of your instructors actually have under their very tight and toned belt! 

Pilates matt class taught by a Pilates Instructor

Why Don’t You Let Our Instructors Put You Through Your Paces?

Whether you are keen to try out Pilates for yourself purely as a form of self-practice, or you are interested in checking out what our Instructors have to offer to see whether this is a career path you’d also like to follow, we’d love to see you at one of our CONTOUR Pilates studios here in Essex. You can check out our latest studio TIMETABLE as well as accessing this month’s special OFFERS. 



When it comes to Pilates, there’s one piece of equipment that is truly iconic.

WE CALL IT THE REFORMER

The L sit position. being performed on the Reformer. Pilates is used by athletes to improve flexibility and body fitness and by chiropractors for patient recovery.

On first impression, it can look quite imposing, daunting even. Those of you who are currently uninitiated to the world of Pilates may even think that it resembles something more likely to be found in a medieval torture chamber! Give it a go though and you will be hooked, not to mention stretched. You certainly won’t need to be tortured into coming back for more! 

This isn’t a Rack! It’s a Reformer and it Rocks!

Not only does the reformer look dramatic but the benefits and positive changes it will have on your body are equally as impressive. It’s a wonderful piece of fitness equipment. It’s fully adjustable for all ages, body shapes, sizes and levels of physical ability. 

If you’re yet to try out one of our state of the art reformer machines in either of our two Essex Pilates studios, you are in for a real treat! What’s not to love about longer, leaner, more sculpted muscles? 

Using the foot bar on the Reformer to perform pilates standing lunges to strengthen, tone and tighten those legs.

So Just What is Pilates Reformer?

The reformer was invented by the founding Father of Pilates, Joseph Pilates. We very much have him to thank for this remarkable invention. Depending upon which studio you practise Pilates at, you will see different branded machines. 

While they may have some distinguishing features, reformers have many similarities. They comprise of a bed like frame, upon which lies a flat platform (referred to as the carriage). A series of springs are attached to the carriage. The combination of coloured springs provides varying levels of resistance. This makes the exercises undertaken more or less challenging. Sometimes less really is more as you will discover. Planking on a yellow comes to mind!

There’s Always Progression and Regression Available in a Pilates Reformer Class.

The carriage itself has shoulder pads that align your shoulders and thus the top half of your body. They also prevent you from slipping off the platform as the carriage is pushed and pulled along the stationary frame. 

Reformers also feature an adjustable bar, which is called the foot bar. However, this is used to position both hands and feet. There are also two long straps attached to the top of the frame which have detachable arm and leg loops at the end. We’re yet to find anyone who doesn’t look forward to “legs in straps.”

It’s a favourite exercise with all our studio regulars. Everyone loves a good hip opener!

Woman on a reformer bed doing hip opening pilates yoga exercises using legs in straps a firm client favourite

How is the Reformer Used?

The reformer is incredibly versatile. It can be used to replace many of the traditional and much bulkier pieces of targeted equipment you’d find in a regular gym. With just the one machine, you can carry out a diverse range of exercises that increase strength, promote flexibility, and seriously improves your balance. 

Most of the exercises done in Pilates involve pushing, pulling, or holding the carriage steady, which in itself can be incredibly challenging. Just imagine how many fitness stations you’d need to incorporate to get such a comprehensive, full-body workout at the gym? Not to mention all the time taken up standing around, waiting for the next piece of equipment to become available?

Mermaid stretch performed on the Reformer in a Pilates class.

With the reformer, you can do exercises standing, seated, lying down, perched on top of the foot bar, with your legs or arms in straps, upside down and even facing sideways. Basically, you can dynamically train your entire body with just this one piece of sleek equipment. Pilates reformer workouts offer something for everyone at every stage of their fitness journey, regardless of their age or current level of ability. 

What are the Benefits of Reformer Pilates?

We’ve already mentioned strength, flexibility, balance and yes, coordination. 

You’ll also notice you have better posture, a more fluid range of movement, plus enjoy relief from pain that’s frequently attributed to physical imbalances, including back pain. That’s before we even get you started on the improvements you’ll notice to the powerhouse of your body, the core. 

There is nothing quite like Pilates when it comes to creating flat abs, toned thighs, firm derrières and strong, healthy backs. 

Add to that the instability created by a moving carriage, along with varying levels of resistance achieved through combining the coloured springs together and you have the ultimate, most versatile, universal piece of fitness equipment.  

If that’s not yet convinced you of the power of reformer Pilates, then nothing will! 

How Do I Learn Reformer Pilates?

We’re glad you asked!

Without a shadow of a doubt, the best way to learn Pilates reformer is to come to a class or book yourself in for a private session with a qualified Pilates instructor. At Contour Pilates studios in Essex, we offer a wide range of diverse classes, suitable for beginners through to advanced practitioners. With Dynamic, Cardio and unique Jump board classes just part of our schedule, there really is something for everyone. 

Go ahead and check out our schedule HERE and if you’ve never visited our studio before, why not take advantage of our INTRODUCTORY OFFER?

2 classes for just £20. 

Click HERE now to discover your best body ever. 

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