Special Report: Workout Warning
"The pacing was really off. It was way too fast," Roberta Pasternac, who was hurt by Pilates, said "She had me do several exercises that I believe contributed to my back really hurting again."
Pasternac now believes what really hurt her was her teacher.
"I just felt that she wasn't tuned into me and my needs at all," Pasternac said.
With more than nine and a half million people taking Pilates, many gyms are bending over backwards to find qualified teachers. In fact, it's estimated that up to two thirds of instructors aren't qualified to teach.
And that can lead to problems with Pilates.
"Lower back injuries, neck injuries, people can get knee injuries," Co-owner of Boston Pilates Clare Dunphy said.
While many Pilates instructors are certified, it can be hard to determine who's really qualified and who isn't.
The problem is that there's no national standard for Pilates teachers. Certification can range from a $69.95 test off the Internet to a class where the teacher went through hundreds of hours of hands-on training.
"There's nothing that determines what the mean level of knowledge needs to be," Kevin Bowen of Pilates Method Alliance said.
Until now. This month the Pilates method alliance is introducing something new: the first ever national certification program.
"The test has been put together with an assembled group of experts that have come together to determine the necessary components that a Pilates instructor needs to know," Bowen said.
Those who pass the voluntary test will be added to a special online database so those looking for educated instructors can find them.
"What we're hoping to do is to raise the standard," Bowen said. "We're not setting out to be the Pilates police."
As for Pasternac, she's more careful now when selecting her Pilates instructors.
"I want to know exactly their training, how many years they've been doing Pilates, what kinds of injuries they've worked with specifically," Pasternac said.
She said she hopes other people will take the same precautions and listen to this workout warning.
For more information on the new Pilates Method Alliance Certification Program, click here.
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