Instructor of the Month

Introducing Heather Palmer, owner of Move With Pilates


I did my first Pilates class 20 years ago.  I used to go to an aerobics class and the instructor had just started to teach Pilates and asked if anyone would like to give it a try – I was hooked on it from that first class! 

I always liked the idea of teaching Pilates but never pursued it until I was made redundant from my job as a Project Manager in Medical Research in 2010.  I took this opportunity to have a change in career and trained with the Pilates Institute.  After the training I set up Matwork classes in local village halls and then in April 2012 I found some premises to rent and opened the Move With Pilates studio.  

Q & A Session:

How would you descibe your teaching style?

I like to keep it simple but inspiring!  I try to get the clients to adopt a good technique as I feel that is the basis of effective movement.  I keep the terminology simple so that everyone understands.  I like sequences and try to maintain the momentum and flow of the class by using one move to get to another.  I love using small equipment in classes and all my studio classes love the foam roller!  Personally, I like variety in classes so although I have a 6 week plan or theme, I try to assess the mood of the class and I will throw in something different if it seems appropriate.

What is your client base like?

Mostly 30 – 60’s.  However, I have a couple of 23 year olds in the reformer classes (they come with their mums!)  I teach 5 matwork classes and 6 reformer classes a week and have a several 1:1 clients.  I have several clients who have had joint replacements, some of these are in their 30’s and 40’s, and I have a few ladies in their late 60’s who are really flexible and really committed to maintaining their fitness.

After your Level 3 training what other training have you done?

I did Pilates and Pregnancy with Modern Pilates, Reformer training with Balanced Body, a few JPilates workshops and courses including GP Exercise Referral, Level 4 Back Pain, Barrels and Wunda Chair.

What are you planning for 2013?

I have purchased a trapeze table (Cadillac) so I will be doing the training course for this with Jo in September.  I find this piece of equipment is so versatile and is really useful for clients with back pain, and those with joint replacements.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being a Pilates Instructor?

When a client says that coming to one of my Pilates classes or sessions has improved their life.  Sometimes this can be due to a physical aspect such as their back pain improving, or the psychological aspect, eg a busy working mum just enjoying that one hour to herself. 

The day before I wrote this, a client came to me 8 weeks after having her right hip replaced. Prior to the operation she had been coming for private sessions to improve the musculature around the hip (she’d had a very bad experience with a previous hip replacement).  She walked into the studio without any limp, standing upright and she’s almost painfree!  She was so happy! She is convinced that her amazing recovery is due to pilates and I’m inclined to agree with her!

If you could give one piece of advice to a new instructor what would it be?

Once you’ve completed the basic training, you embark on a really steep learning curve and you will never stop learning.  The initial training is the base on which you will build.  Continue to research and learn, keep an open mind, and most importantly, enjoy!

For more information about Heather, please visit Move With Pilates