5 Tips For Spotting a Bad Pilates Instructor in Fulham
Updated: Nov 28
As it gains popularity year after year across the UK, and indeed across the world, an increasing number of people are offering themselves up as Pilates experts ready to teach you all they know.
And as is the case for anything else while there are some great Pilates Instructors in Fulham there are some that are simply not up to standard.
But if you are new to Pilates, how do you know who these 'bad eggs' are?
It's actually easier to figure this out than you might imagine. In a nutshell, you might want to steer clear of a Pilates instructor in Fulham if you encounter any of these five things in class.
1.They only offers standard options in class like “beginner” “intermediate” and “advanced”.
The creator of Pilates, Joseph Pilates, never taught a group class because he believed the best way to teach Pilates was one on one.
We can recognize why when we look at the difficulties of classifications like ‘beginner’, ‘intermediate’, and ‘advanced’ classes.
Especially when instructors categorize exercises as level one (beginner), level two (intermediate), and level three (advanced).
While the idea in theory that level 1 exercises are taught in the beginner classes and so forth makes sense, it doesn't account for how groups attend classes and individualized fitness.
Students are more likely to attend classes that work with their schedule, rather than that which fit their level of experience. Meaning that you could end up with a beginner class where the fitness levels and experience are all over the place.
Image Credit: ClassPass.co.uk
It also requires the individual rather than the instructor to decide their ability level, which can lead to all kinds of issues relating to subjectivity, self-perception, and experience, where individuals can't as accurately rate their ability as an instructor could.
Also, a student who is capable of advanced movement can still have significant deficiencies in an area.
Yes, they can perform advanced movements, but maybe they lack the correct muscle or joint actions to accompany this.
For these individuals to make a fundamental change to their movement, they need to go back to basics.
To avoid this difficulty, a practical teaching skill that you may want to look out for as a student is layering.
Layering is where, for each new exercise, you start by teaching the easiest variation and add on one skill at a time.
Each student follows along with these progressions until they reach their individual challenge point, where they can still control their movements but the exercise is a challenge.
Reading all this, the issues that come with only offering group classes are self-evident.
While they can be fun, the best Pilates instruction is personalized to suit each individual and their unique strengths and weaknesses.
1.Your class is your teachers’ workout, too.
There are some Pilates instructors who never appear to leave their mat for the entire class. And that is not a good thing.
If you are new to Pilates you will be coming into it knowing nothing about what is going to be taught to you and so 'just following along' is not really going to get you anywhere.
In addition, although Pilates is a gentle form of exercise suitable for almost anyone, injury is possible and without an instructor who is actively monitoring what you are doing you could end up getting hurt.
Image Credit: Human Kinetics Blog
Feel free to ask your instructor where they trained, as with a variety of pilates schools there is a diversity of what is deemed Pilates.
It’s important to know what brand, style, and school of Pilates you will be training with so that you can evaluate if it is suited to your goals and movement capacity.
Also, ask how long it took, as an online or weekend course is not enough.
Regardless of how long you have practiced Pilates as a client, the majority of trustworthy teacher training courses take around a year to accomplish.
Meaning that instructors need a year’s training in the vast majority of cases to be fully qualified, even if their training is 100% mat-based.
But with a good instructor, you probably won’t even need to ask these questions.
Pilates teachers impassioned by their work will have to stop themselves from telling you about their love of the method, their training, and what they have planned next up their sleeve.
2.The teacher never demonstrates anything
If you are new to Pilates, or even if you are just learning a new movement you haven't attempted before, the best way to learn is by seeing an expert do it.
Teachers who stand at the front of a class and bark out orders and yet never demonstrate the movements themselves are almost certainly not the Pilates instructor Fulham that you need as you are never really going to learn anything.
3.They know nothing about Anatomy
It stands to reason that anyone who is going to teach any kind of class related to health and fitness should know a lot about the human body and how it works.
This is especially true of Pilates as the whole premise behind it is very much based on what its creator took the time to learn about human physiology for years.
While we are not suggesting that all Pilates instructors should have years of medical training, being able to demonstrate a good knowledge of how their student's bodies work and how the exercises and movements they are teaching will affect it is a must.
Especially as Pilates instructors often attract pre and post-pregnancy clients, and clients struggling with injuries and health problems.
To make sure that none of their clients, especially clients with more debilitating challenges to movement, is 100% safe and supported your instructor needs a practical understanding of everything that plays a role in human movement.
Image Credit: Healthista
Without this understanding, there is the potential to make health conditions worse through specific movements, especially with invisible conditions as the negative impact of certain movements may not be evident immediately. An instructor without this understanding may also fail to identify pathologies in their clients. For example, if a client can’t lift their arms overhead, they may be suffering from tight muscles around the upper back and shoulder blades. With the anatomical knowledge needed to identify the root cause of this issue, the instructor can devise a specific exercise program to help with this pathology. A bad instructor is also one who does not know the nervous system, as it’s a critical part of our anatomy though we rarely think of it as such. Pilates teachers need to understand how nerves work as they can be faced with clients suffering from things like neural tension, sciatica or carpal tunnel syndrome. Not knowing your anatomy as a pilates instructor makes you a bad one, as you can’t provide the knowledge that all of your clients need.
But What Makes A Good Pilates Instructor?
So, now that you know what makes a bad Pilates instructor Fulham, you are probably wondering what makes a good one. For starters, Joseph Pilates was right. One on one sessions are the best way to learn Pilates and that is especially true if you are an absolute beginner. So consider investing in private sessions with a Pilates instructor in Fulham when you first start. You should also consider the 'vibe' of both the studio and the lessons. It's hard to get the most out of a Pilates session if the instructor is unfriendly or harsh, or the studio is old, run-down, or otherwise unsuitable. Once you know you are in the right environment, you need to focus on the person in charge. Here are the specific traits that make a good pilates instructor:
Passionate about the Pilates method and happy to share their method and its benefits with anyone, beginners and advanced clients included
Knowledgeable about anatomy and movement, capable of identifying specific pathologies and needs and supporting them in class
Open and honest about their experience, education, and skills
They actively guide and teach during the classes through example and observation rather than staying 100% of the time on the mat and asking students to follow
Provides a Pilates service tailored to the individual with classes beyond ‘beginner’, ‘intermediate’ and ‘advanced’
Really want to make sure that you are making the right decision? Look for a Pilates instructor in Fulham who offers classes distinctly catered to your individual needs. La Dolce Studio, in fact, offers a 1 on 1 session for 60 minutes at an absolute steal for £35. They also offer virtual sessions during this challenging time and a complete exercise plan for those who want to embark on an intensive pilates journey. Go sign up for your first session today.