New Teachers Teaching Skills

8 Ways to Protect Your Body While Teaching Pilates

Protecting your body while your teaching is essential. During courses safety is a big focus. But once you start teaching 15+ hours per week and make a significant portion of your living through teaching.

So, here are easy ways to protect your body while teaching:

1. When adjusting springs on the reformer think about ergonomics.

Changing springs is a repetitive task when you do it multiple times per hour. Do it from the footbar end of the reformer so there is less risk to your shoulders when changing springs. Or facing foot bar pressing spring forward.

2. Ask your clients to adjust springs, gearbar, and stopper.

The number of times you do these repetitive tasks can really add up though the week. Engaging your client in these adjustments will help them understand their settings, keep transitions quick, and save wear and tear on your body.

3. Have the uninjured clients carry their large accessory equipment around the studio.

Train them to be proactive in setting exercises up on their own arc barrel, box, bosu, etc as you move through the session. They also won’t have to stand around during transitions which is a win-win.

4. If teaching on a low reformer, bending over all day can be hard on your back.

Try to avoid low tactile cues that require you to be bent over. If the client requires these kind of cues, grab a mat to kneel on or sit on a ball or box at their side.

5. Don’t demonstrate exercises cold.

If you are 30-minutes into a client’s session and you’re not performing the exercises with the client, you’re cold. You wouldn’t have a client walk in off the street and do full swan dive, so why would you do it to yourself?

6. When using the push through bar or roll down bar on the Cadillac Table, Spring Wall, or Wall Unit think about your body in relation to the line of pull.

Never put your body, especially your face, between the origin of the spring and the direction it is being pulled.

7. Wash your hands between clients and avoid touching your face.

Seeing several clients a day and multiple clients per week exposes you to lots of germs. Getting a cold can keep you out of the studio for a day or more.

8. Check your equipment & manufacturer safety suggestions.

You should inspect your equipment before use. Double check that everything is in place. Look at the springs to make sure there is no rust or chipping of paint. If anything looks off, talk to your facility manager.  It is also a good idea to periodically review the safety information from the equipment manufacturer. A refresher will ensure that you never get casual with their safety suggestions.


Let us know in the comments below if this is helpful.

And as always, thank you so much for reading.

Good Luck!

Holly Furgason Fit for Real & Blue Sparrow Pilates

  • Avatar
    February 26, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    This article is such an important point! If we do not take care of ourselves then we can no longer teach/train/work! As a student I have noticed that the Pilates practice has made me more aware of my everyday motions. This is a good reminder to use smart body mechanics, especially when clients watch and learn from how we move.

    • Holly Furgason
      Holly Furgason
      February 27, 2014 at 1:45 am

      Connecting the dots between your daily activities and Pilates is definitely the goal, both for your clients and for you. Keep making that connection!

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