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The Best Pilates Certification

author image Henry Halse
Henry Halse is a Philadelphia-based personal trainer, speaker, and writer. He's trained a wide variety of people, from couch potatoes to professional athletes, and helped them realize their own strength, determination and self-confidence. Henry has also written for various fitness and lifestyle publications, including Women’s Health, AskMen and Prevention.
The Best Pilates Certification
Pilates is such a popular workout program that there are many certifications. Photo Credit Lucian Coman/Hemera/Getty Images

Passing down your passion and knowledge for Pilates as an instructor gives you the opportunity to help as many people as you can. First, you have to pass through a certification program to affirm your Pilates knowledge. After that, you're free to pursue teaching with a stamp of approval from one of many Pilates certification programs.

Read More: The Health Benefits of Pilates

Pilates Method Alliance

As the only third-party Pilates certification, the PMA (Pilates Method Alliance) is a very reputable certification. It is the only Pilates certification that has a psychometrically validated exam, which means that it has been proven to effectively test your Pilates knowledge. The exam covers 450 hours of teaching material, including mat Pilates, and instruction on six different pieces of training equipment.

Peak Pilates

Broken into three different levels, Peak Pilates' comprehensive certification program provides hands-on training classes. To pass the certification you need to attend training for all three levels. This includes mat training and work with the reformer, cadillac and various other Pilates apparatuses. After 60 hours of in-person training, you'll be ready to take the in-person written and practical exam, signifying that you're ready to take your skills to the real world.

Basi Pilates

Basi has Pilates certification programs for instructors in the U.S., as well as five different programs for international instructors. They offer a mat program, Pilates for fitness instructors program, apparatus program, ProBridge program and some advanced certifications, including a dance Pilates fusion certification in America. These programs span from a weekend course to a full 10-day instructional program and all are instructed in-person.


The International Fitness Professionals Association (IFPA) has a Pilates instructor certification program that teaches more than 200 exercises with over 50 variations. They teach mat Pilates, as well as how to use equipment like the reformer, cadillac, wunda chair, Pilates step, Ped-a-Pul, arm chair and magic circle. You'll learn the information with the textbook and study guide, then take the 100-question exam at the end.

Read More: A Pilates Instructor's Secrets to Long, Leaner Legs


The National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA) has two different Pilates certifications. The first is a mat Pilates program that offers a comprehensive weekend course focused on mat exercises. They also offer a reformer Pilates course, which focuses on the reformer machine for a weekend. While it's not as comprehensive as some of the other certifications that offer an overview of many different training apparatuses, this certification goes in-depth with mat and reformer Pilates, meaning you'll have a firm grasp on whichever certification you choose.

Some Pilates certifications are in-person and some are online.
Some Pilates certifications are in-person and some are online. Photo Credit OSTILL/iStock/Getty Images

Power Pilates

Prepare to dive deep into your Pilates education with the in-depth certifications that Power Pilates offers. For mat Pilates, there are two different levels: core I and core II. Both require attending an in-person instructional seminar that lasts three days. Beyond that, you can attend a three-day comprehensive training that goes over many of the Pilates training apparatuses. This course also guides you through working with some special populations, such as pregnant women.

Stott Pilates

With a wide range of options, Stott Pilates is perfect for a complete novice or someone who has a personal training certification with or without a solid human anatomy background. You can take a comprehensive certification course if you have no training background, an anatomy course if you just need to brush up on your muscles and bones, or a course on special populations if you want to use Pilates with certain clients.

There is also a certification for rehabilitation and health care professionals that want to use Pilates in their practice. Once you're certified, Stott offers a program of workshops for continuing education and more advanced certifications to keep your Pilates knowledge evolving.

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