The Reformer Series – NEW

Polestar Pilates Reformer Series - The Reformer Series Certification provides instruction in Pilates principles, techniques and practice with emphasis on group dynamics for the Reformer



Course Description

Want to get the most out of the Pilates Reformer? The Polestar Pilates Reformer Series is designed for you! Physical therapists, personal trainers, group instructors and their clients are reaping the benefits of the work of Joseph Pilates with this versatile piece of equipment.

The Pilates Reformer Series can be completed completely online, OR as a combination of virtual online and in-person sessions. The course comprises an online introductory module followed by THREE two-day course modules, either as a combination of in-person and virtual online, or completely virtual online.

It teaches the practical skills needed to become proficient with assessment techniques, Pilates reformer exercises, movement sequences and the application of the Polestar principles.

The courses must be taken in the following order: Polestar Principles Online (self-study), Reformer – 1, Reformer – 2, and Reformer – 3. Successful completion of this serie will give participants the opportunity to obtain certification by taking the Polestar Reformer Examination.

You will be ready to instruct Reformer classes in a Pilates Studio, small group session (semi or private); gym group classes; health centre group classes; home and corporate environment.

Course Details

Minimum requirements for entry into this course are:

  • Completion of Polestar Principles Online (PO – self-study) – explained in different section below
  • Successful completion of an Anatomy and Physiology course through a recognised education body, or fitness/movement professional, or licensed or certified health care professionals (e.g. MD, PT, OT, DO, DC,RN, and Bach. Sp Sc. / Hum Movt. and Bach Applies Science). If you need to refresh your anatomy and physiology knowledge, please click here for details of how we can help.
  • 25 hours of personal Pilates practice – either private or group instruction

Please note that if you are from a different background and have NOT completed any basic Anatomy and Physiology education, Polestar has created an online Anatomy course specifically designed as an introduction to muscle skeleton anatomy for movers and movement teachers.

This online course will provide you with all the required knowledge to commence your Pilates studies. Click here for more info and to register for the online Polestar Anatomy Course.

Walk away from the Reformer Series Certification as a qualified Instructor of the highest calibre; well versed in Pilates principles, program design, exercise sequencing techniques and practice, with emphasis on group dynamics for the Pilates Reformer.

You will be confident in verbal, tactile and combined cueing practices to facilitate motor learning, and be competent to work with healthy clients one-on-one and in group, based on the following course components:

    Ability to apply the Polestar Pilates Principles & Postural assessment framework.
  • REF-1: Ability to plan and instruct a Beginner Polestar Pilates Reformer class.
  • REF-2: Ability to plan and instruct an Intermediate Level Reformer class.
  • REF-3: Ability to plan and instruct an Advanced Level Reformer class.
  • Online Lectures (PO): 10 hours
  • Lectures: 28 hours
  • Observation: 10 hours
  • Practice (Self-Mastery): 10 hours
  • Apprentice Teaching: 10 hours
  • Final Exam to be taken within 12 months after completion of REF-3: 3 hours
Upon registration, you are automatically enrolled into Polestar’s Online Resource Centre where you will have access to interactive study resources including lectures, case studies, repertoire review and much more.

Check your inbox for an email outlining your homework assignments and lots of useful information for your course.

Prior to or during your first weekend, you will receive your manuals and this is when you can start to complete your logbook hours.

Practicums help accelerate your teaching and demonstration hours in a supported environment with a Polestar Educator.

Teaching is within a clinical format against units of competency and allows students to accrue 2 hours for 1 hour (1:2) towards their student logbook.

Topics included will be review of Theory, Repertoire, Case Studies and Self-Mastery demonstration and teaching. Practicums are scheduled generally over 4hrs but can be shorter and some are online.

There are 2 Practicums scheduled as part of the course and are included in the course fees.

You have 12 months from when you complete REF-3 to take your exam.

The exam consists of a two-hour multiple choice exam and a class design case study, both of which you complete online from home, and a one hour practical, in-person exam showing demonstration and teaching skills.

All logbook hours, face to face weekends and assignments must have been completed.

Who is this course for?

This course is intended for:

All movement specialists such as fitness instructors, personal trainers, rehabilitation practitioners and other movement teachers (eg yoga, dance) who wish to teach Pilates using all of the apparatus found in a typical equipment studio.

Graduates will be able to instruct Reformer classes in a Pilates Studio, small group session (semi or private); gym group classes; health center group classes; home and corporate environment.

The course has additional information for physical therapists and medical professionals who wish to incorporate Pilates into their clinical practice.

Principals Online Flow Chart

PO – Principles Online – self-study in your own time

The first course to be completed prior to attending the first two-day on-site/virtual course Reformer – 1 is the Principles Online (PO) course. This non-apparatus course applies current research in movement science, biomechanics, kinesiology and motor learning to instructional practice through six basic movement principles that are utilised throughout the Polestar curriculum.

The PO course also introduces Polestar Pilates Screening, which includes postural evaluation and functional testing, to prepare participants to properly design and implement Pilates exercises for patients and clients. This unique component significantly enhances decisionmaking skills as a Pilates practitioner.

The online course is divided into 8 segments which take approx. 10 hours to complete. Please note that these segments can be completed in multiple sittings and watched several times for optimal learning:


Principle 1: Breathing

Principle 2: Axial Elongation & Core Control

Principle 3: Spine Articulation

Principle 4: Organization of the Head, Neck, and Shoulders

Principle 5: Alignment & Weight Bearing of the Extremities

Principle 6: Movement Integration

Principles: Additional Resources

Short quizzes are offered throughout to identify the most important concepts and to help students organise their thoughts and study time.

Upon completion you will be able to:

  • Deepen your knowledge in current evidence-based research pertaining to movement science, motor learning, bioenergetics and communication
  • Understand the Polestar Principles of Movement
  • Demonstrate the ability to correctly execute and teach over 130 exercises and their variations
  • Be able to use the ICF Model or the Polestar Screening, specifically designed for the movement professional, which includes postural evaluation and functional testing to determine your clients’ strengths, weaknesses and goals


Please note that for those participants undertaking more than one Polestar Series course, it is only required to complete PO ONE time. So if for example, you want to complete the Polestar Reformer Series after you have completed the Mat Series, you do not have to redo PO.

Once payment has been received, access will be provided to the PO online resources.

Reformer – 1 thru Reformer – 3: Levels 1, 2 & 3 (6 days i.e. 3x 2-day on-site/virtual courses)

After the Principles Online course (PO), the Reformer Series continue with three course modules scheduled approximately one month apart. The time between courses allows you to practice and become comfortable with the material before continuing to the next course. Each course is two days, usually Saturday and Sunday, and can be attended in-person or virtually via Zoom.

For certification, you will be required to complete at your own expense, the required reading and writing assignments, 75 hours of Observation & Self Mastery, 50 hours of Apprentice Teaching.

You will learn the practical skills needed to become proficient with the assessment techniques, movement sequences and the application of principles learned in PO. The movement selections focus on early intervention and beginning through intermediate exercises on Reformer equipment. Additionally, you will learn:

  • Cueing and movement facilitation
  • Adjustment of equipment for patient safety and instructor efficiency
  • Movement sequences for treatment of specific lesions
  • Progression of movement following an injury
  • Indications and contraindications for exercise selection
  • Integration of manual mobilization skills and Pilates movement (appropriate to your scope of practice)
  • To create treatment plans through use of case studies

Reformer Series Certification

Certification involves completing the series, completion of assignments and short quizzes, as well as a number of hours of observations, self-mastery, assistant teaching, and practical teaching (as outlined below). Full certification is given once the final written and practical exam is passed – pass mark is 80%.

Online Lectures (PO)LecturesObservationPractice (Self-Mastery)Apprentice TeachingFinal Exam to be taken within 12 months of commencing (Practical & Theory)
10 Hours282550503

Lectures: Lecture hours include face to face delivery of material

Homework Assignments: To be completed and returned during your face to face weekends for assessment

Observation: Student observes a Pilates Reformer class / Studio session in action, and has their logbook hours signed off by a certified practitioner.

Self-Mastery (and Self-Directed):

  • Self-study and self-mastery components both practical and theory
  • NOTE: the practical self-mastery hours are at an additional cost to the course fees
  • Self-mastery hours should make up 70% of total hours, with 30% being self-directed (self practice).

Apprentice Teaching: Assisting a qualified Pilates practitioner within a Pilates Studio workplace in order to gain practical experience and feedback on your teaching delivery.

Final Examination: You have 12 months from the completion of REF-3 to take your final exam. All logbook hours, face to face weekends and assignments must be completed. The exam consists of a 2 hour multiple choice and 1 hour practical.

Self-Study Requirements: following is the recommended MINIMUM hours required per week for duration of the course:

  • Self-Practice – minimum 1 hour per week
  • Supervised Practice – minimum 2 hours per week
  • Observation – minimum 2 hours per week
  • Written homework – minimum 2 hours per month


As shown above students will be required to complete practice hours (self-mastery), which are in addition to course fees. Polestar have a national network of New Zealand mentors that can offer assistance with practice and teaching hours: click here for the list of names and locations.

Further information will be given out on the first day of the course.

Location & Course Dates

Auckland in-person / Rest of New Zealand via ZoomReformer Series8 & 9 June '24
Auckland in-person / Rest of New Zealand via ZoomReformer SeriesPrior to 6 July '246 & 7 July '2410 & 11 August '2421 & 22 September '24

PLEASE NOTE: It’s very important to register well ahead of time, because you need to complete the online theory portion of the course prior to attending in-person weekend. Don’t hesitate and register now!

Course Fees

Course fees include attendance at lectures, student manuals and handouts, morning and afternoon teas, as well as GST. Students are responsible for all personal extras, such as travel and accommodation and personal supplies and lunch during the course dates.

Please note that an automatic credit card surcharge of 3% gets added when you pay via Visa or Mastercard. This fee will be added to your invoice & receipt.

If you have completed any of our other training courses with Polestar NZ you are entitled to an additional discount. Please contact us for the details.

Also, you can see below that you can register for a BUNDLE of both the Mat and Reformer Series in one go. This saves you a considerable amount compared to completing these two course series separately.

The Mat and Reformer Series bundle is made up of PO, Mat-1, Mat-2, Ref-1, Ref-2, and Ref-3.

LocationNormal Package PriceEarly Bird PriceEarly Bird Saving
PO, REF-1, REF-2 & REF-3$3,945*$3,745 **$200**
Reformer & Mat BUNDLE$5,675*$5,390**$285**

* Normal Package Price – post Early Bird date

** Early Bird Price – if registered and paid in full by 31 May ’24 

Exam Fees are not included in the Course Fees

IMPORTANT: The following options exist to pay for your Polestar course(s):

1. Pay the registration fee in full, and make use of the Early Bird discount (provided you’ve paid prior to the Early Bird expiry date)

    • Click one of the yellow banners above to register and pay via credit card – for which you will get charged a credit card fee
    • To avoid paying the credit card fee, internet transfer the full amount into the Polestar account 030104 0440078 00 (Westpac). Please note to add your name as a reference, otherwise we may not recognise your payment! We will then register you via the back-end and set you up on the online learning platform, so do not click on any of the yellow banners above.

2. Use the Payment Plan, outlined below, and pay the fee over a period of time. This is a slightly more expensive option, but helps when you need to spread out the payments.

    • Click one of the yellow banners above to register and pay via Payment Plan. This is only available via credit card.

Please note that an automatic credit card surcharge of 3% gets added when you pay via Visa or Mastercard.

Payment Plan

Polestar Pilates NZ has a Payment Plan available which enables you to pay for your enrolment over a period of time, rather than in one go. The Payment Plan is available on the Normal Package Price only and incurs a one-time non-refundable handling fee of $100.

You have the option therefore to pay for the course fees in one go, or spread it out over a number of months. If you want to use the Payment Plan, you can choose this option at the time you register by clicking on one of the above yellow banners, at which time you pay a deposit only.

Your credit card will be charged automatically on the 1st of each month, following your registration. Late payment penalty or credit card decline penalty of $50 will apply.

The following details apply:

Location:Normal Price incl. handling feeDeposit*Month 1Month 2Month 3
PO, REF-1, REF-2 & REF-3$4,045$800$1,080$1,080$1,085
Reformer & Mat BUNDLE$5,775$1,000$1,590$1,590$1,595

* Deposit is required at the time of registration

Please note that an automatic credit card surcharge of 3% gets added when you pay via Visa or Mastercard.


For the Reformer exam please allow 3-4 hours for the total written and practical examination process. The written examination consists of a 1-hour 50 question multiple-choice section, and a 1-hour case study. The multiple-choice examination will cover the material taught in the courses, general exercise knowledge, equipment set-up, cueing, safety, precautions and modifications, contraindications, the Polestar Fitness Screening, and Pilates history.

For the case study, you will create two, hour-long group Reformer classes including modifications for specific populations.

The practical examination is a group class with 4 examinees – typically 1 hour, with 15 minutes for each person to teach 4 exercises randomly selected by the examiner.

Exercises are drawn from a hat. Each paper to be drawn has 4 pre-printed exercises on it, basic to advanced, plus any variations necessary. Students have a total of 15 minutes to teach their 4 exercises to the rest of the group, who are the mock class. The students in the “class” are graded on their demonstration of the exercises at the same time that the teacher is graded on their teaching skills.

After the teacher finishes the examiner will call them aside and ask them any questions that remain, i.e. exercise principles, common mistakes, precautions and contraindications, modifications, exercise rationale.

The entire exam is worth a total of 100 points.

The candidate will need to achieve an 80% pass mark on both written and theory sections of the exam.

Exam Fees of $450 (incl. GST) are not included in the Course Fees. Click here to register for your Reformer Exam.

Registration Policies

Please ensure to familiarise yourself with our Registration Policies (incl. Cancellations and Transfers) on this page before you register.

PLEASE NOTE: It’s very important to register well ahead of time, because you need to complete the online theory portion of the course prior to attending in-person weekend. Don’t hesitate and register now!

If you need help with our online registration system, please CLICK HERE.


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