Help! My new clients want to do the stuff they see on Instagram

Can I Ask You A Question? 

“My newer clients are constantly asking me to give lessons like what they see on Instagram. They are nowhere near ready to try some of this crazy stuff! I nicely tell them that they need to be patient while they are learning the fundamentals of Pilates and that the advanced moves will come later, but they say they get bored. I’d like to know how to get them to be patient but still challenge them. Any advice? 

Sincerely, – Battling Social Media


Dear Battling Social Media,

First off, good job on reminding your clients to be patient!  Like anything worthwhile, developing a strong, sound body takes time and consistency.

As we know, there are a lot of variations of “Pilates” out there in social media land. Clients, especially the newer ones, can easily get caught up in the glitz and glamour of it all—presenting us with unrealistic expectations.

Luckily, as certified teachers, we come equipped with a teacher toolkit to help us tackle situations just like this!

When your clients are getting pre-occupied with outside sources, and looking for more challenges, dig into your bag and find these tools:

Technique. Focusing on developing technique is a great way to keep your clients engaged. Deliver your technical direction at the beginning of the movement and remember to keep cueing it until the end. Your clients will be happy with the challenge of trying to perfect their form.

Breath. Proper breathing is an integral part of each Pilates movement. It’s also one of the first things a client forgets to do! Challenge your clients to keep a steady breathing pattern by first cueing both inhale and exhale periods. After a few repetitions, cue only the exhale. See if they can continue the pattern throughout the entire movement ultimately on their own.

Rhythm. All Pilates exercises are set to a rhythm. As your clients progress, try adjusting the rhythm or pace of the exercise. By playing around with the rhythm you can add degrees of difficulty and keep your clients active in the movement.

Flow. Flow is the result of all movements coming together seamlessly. Pilates was initially designed as one long, continuous session, with minimal to no stops in between movements. Challenge your clients by having them work on the transitions between each move and see how long they can continue their flow.


As Pilates teachers, we often wear different hats—one of them being the “Wrangler”. When your clients start chomping at the bit and getting anxious to “do more”, gently reel them in and remind them that Pilates was developed as a perfect system. You don’t need bells & whistles to make it better. Using your tools, keep your clients working on the principles behind the method and they will always be challenged, never get bored, and live a long healthy life.