Pilates 4 Youth

Pilates 4 Youth is an initiative of the Pilates Method Alliance originally conceived in 2002. The aim of the initiative is to foster and encourage teaching Pilates to children and adolescents safely and appropriately, taking into consideration the physiological and cognitive stages of development that they undergo.

We hope you enjoy these interviews of young Pilates students, filmed at the Pilates Method Alliance conference in 2013:

  Free "What is Pilates?"
flyers per age group

For Elementary

For Middle


This initiative was formally launched in 2003, and practical work began in 2004 when a series of program pilots was initiated focusing on 5th and 6th graders (approximately ages 9 -13). Children in this phase of development were chosen based on the idea that this age range represented a ‘magic window’ of opportunity for creating health habits for life. Pilates instructors from a variety of cities throughout the US followed PMA protocols for conducting pre- and post-pilot measurements with their classes, in order to collect data documenting the outcomes. The work undertaken with students produced remarkable results in the areas of core strength, hamstring flexibility and balance. Pilot programs ceased in 2008, when sufficient evidence had been collected as to the efficacy of the program. Pilot outcomes are presented in the PMA’s book mentioned below.

The Book

The PMA, in collaboration with Handspring Publishing, has produced a book called:
Pilates for Children and Adolescents; Manual of Guidelines and Curriculum

This is the first comprehensive manual of teaching guidelines and curriculum presentation for teaching Pilates to young people. The book includes:

  • Guidelines for teaching Pilates to young people
  • Why starting Pilates between the ages of 9 – 13 is particularly beneficial
  • Crucial anatomical and cognitive development considerations for working with young people
  • Additional relevant topics designed to equip the Pilates teacher with tools for creating relevant and safe programs for different age ranges, such as:
    • Safety considerations, exercise contraindications, scope of practice and ethics
    • Considerations for working in a variety of environments within both the public and private sectors
    • Age appropriate exercises from the Pilates repertoire
    • Guidance on the creating successful curriculum presentations for schools, including sample lesson plans

How to get involved?

  • Contribute a Case Report. Click here for instructions.
  • Buy the Book

The PMA offers the Pilates for Children and Adolescents book as a tool and reference for qualified Pilates teachers who wish to teach the Pilates Method to children and adolescents. We encourage teachers to find opportunities to work with young people, and to use this book to as a guide. Download this page for more details.

  • Join the Facebook Group

The PMA does not have a prescribed program to join, and does not approve or sanction specific teachers to work with young people. Rather, the PMA encourages qualified Pilates teachers to undertake this important work independently, and to share their experiences and network with colleagues through our open Facebook group.


Join our open Facebook group to share your experience and network with others involved in this work!


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