Level 3 Pilates small equipment course

Discover how to meet the needs of a wider-range of participants with this Pilates small equipment course

HFE Pilates tutor with circle
An HFE tutor delivering Pilates instructor courses with a Pilates circle

A flexible Pilates small equipment course

Using small equipment in a matwork Pilates class is essential if you want to meet the needs of a wide-range of students at different levels of fitness and with different needs.

  • Course type:

    online learning

  • Time to qualify:

    1-2 weeks

  • Entry requirements:

    No formal requirements

YMCA Awards endorsed logo

Book your place for only £165

Course overview: Level 3 matwork Pilates small equipment

This small equipment for matwork Pilates course will enrich your knowledge and understanding of how to use small equipment within a Pilates class or session to change the intended effects of the exercise. This course is specifically designed to help professionally develop matwork Pilates teachers, so that they can better meet the needs of their students.

Small equipment is an essential feature of any matwork Pilates programme in order to provide a more varied and individualised style of class. Small equipment can take many forms, including the Pilates circle or ring, small balls, stability balls, straps, resistance bands, dowels, blocks and bricks. This equipment is essential to provide students with the necessary props and tools to advance matwork exercises that are too easy, or modify movements and positions that might be overly challenging for participants.

This small equipment Pilates course goes above and beyond the standard small equipment content taught on our Level 3 Pilates teacher training course, providing instructors with many more creative options to vary and individualise classic and modern Pilates exercises alike.

Learning how to safely and effectively incorporate different pieces of small equipment into a matwork Pilates session, often at the same time, you’ll be able to create more engaging and enjoyable classes that will keep your Pilates students coming back time after time. Also, you’ll also be able to tailor your Pilates classes or sessions to a wider-range of students because you can use this equipment to provide appropriate adjustments and modifications that allow these participants to work safely and effectively within their own capacity.

Using small equipment in Pilates can be an extremely effective way to overcome functional deficits, movement impairments, and other forms of musculoskeletal dysfunction that present as a result of the largely sedentary and inactive lives most people follow today. If you want to learn more about this aspect of Pilates, including how to use matwork exercises to overcome these conditions, you should consider completing the Level 4 Advanced Matwork Pilates Course.

Ultimately, if you want to become a master Pilates teacher, then you really must become an expert in the safe and effective use of small equipment for matwork Pilates.

  • Entry requirements

    This programme is designed for trainee and qualified Pilates teachers looking to further develop their knowledge and skills in the use of small equipment for matwork Pilates.

    This is a continuing professional development (CPD) course and does not lead to a regulated qualification. As such, if you want to complete this programme to develop your own knowledge, then you do not need to hold a Pilates teacher training qualification to enrol. You do however need to be aware that this course is largely aimed at qualified and trainee Pilates teachers.

  • Accreditations

    This continuing professional development (CPD) course is fully endorsed by YMCA Awards and leads to a HFE and YMCA Awards endorsed certificate on completion.

    This programme can also be used by CIMSPA members as 5 CIMSPA CPD points. The programme is not directly endorsed by CIMSPA and so this programme could not be used in its entirely to meet the annual 10 CPD points required to remain on the professional register.

  • Career progression

    On completion of the Pilates small equipment course, Pilates professionals may wish to set their sights on other Pilates disciplines utilising large and more sophisticated equipment, like our Level 3 Reformer Pilates Teacher Training course.

    Pilates is a diverse and versatile career pathways and there are so many different ways to differentiate your offering. Whether you want to specialise in providing Pilates for low back pain clients, Pilates for Pre and postnatal clients, or older adults, there are a number of different pathways and progression routes to choose from.

    Once you graduate, you’ll have access to CV Connect, connecting you to employers who are actively looking to hire people just like you.

Payment Options

We have a reputation for training excellence and we are immensely proud of the quality of our training products and what they stand for.

We always try to price our training and qualifications competitively, carefully balancing our investment into the development and delivery of these programmes with a fair and reasonable price that makes the training accessible.

Special Offers, Discounts and Deals

We are committed to quality, fairness and transparency, which is why we openly list our course prices on our website for all to see. We don’t engage in discounting, bargaining or deal-making and our price promise outlines why, ensuring that all our students pay the same fair price for their training and qualifications.

Pay in Full


Get a 5% prompt payment discount on orders with a value over £200.

Purchase Order


Provide a purchase order on enrolment
and settle the invoice within 30 days*

*Only available for business bookings and subject to the appropriate due diligence.

Outstanding support

Alongside this world-class online learning experience, you’ll also have unlimited access to our team of highly experienced learning support tutors. The support team will be on hand to answer any specific questions that you may have about your learning, assessments, and career progression. Whether you want to get some career advice, or you need technical support with your course, our support team will be delighted to assist you in any way that they can. We typically support our learners in a number of ways, including:

  • Phone calls

  • Emails

  • Video calls

  • Webinars

support tutor at standing desk

What you'll learn

This leading online course has been written by our team of Pilates experts, which includes published authors, specialist Pilates physiotherapists and other leading Pilates experts to ensure that you get the best online learning experience.

The course includes a broad range of theory and practical content, including:

  • Benefits and types of small equipment in matwork Pilates

    - General and specific benefits of small equipment
    - Types of equipment and their specific benefits
    - Functional benefits of equipment
    - Safety and appropriateness
    - Limitations of specific types of small equipment
    - Overcoming functional deficits with equipment

  • Behaviour change and motivation

    - Safety considerations when using small equipment
    - General risk assessment and hazard management
    - Maintenance of specific types of small equipment
    - Specific precautionary methods
    - Teacher responsibilities and duties

  • Exercise modifications using small equipment

    - General modifications and variations
    - The essence and spirit of Pilates
    - Following the principles of Pilates using equipment
    - Incorporating small equipment safely into matwork sessions
    - Components of fitness focus
    - Guidelines for developing skill-based fitness in Pilates

  • Exercise progressions and variations using small equipment

    - Classical approaches to adapting matwork exercises with equipment
    - Contemporary approaches to modifying matwork exercises with equipment
    - Over 40 exercise demonstrations using 10 different pieces of equipment
    - Downloadable resources to support learning
    - Embedded knowledge checks to test your own learning

Physiotherapist delivering Pilates lecture shown on iPhone

*Images and videos are for illustration purposes and may not depict specific course materials.

A Pilates career without limits

Join the many thousands of HFE graduates that are now working with some of the world’s leading health and fitness operators and brands. In addition, many of our Pilates graduates have gone on to open their own dedicated Pilates studios around the world.

David Lloyd logo
Bannatyne logo
Nuffield health logo
Virgin active logo
pure gym logo
Village gym logo
The Gym Group Logo

How you'll be assessed

This programme is designed to stretch the foundational knowledge and skills that you have developed in your matwork Pilates teacher training programme, showing you how to better tailor your Pilates sessions to the specific needs of your clients. Given that this is largely a knowledge-based course, the assessments reflect this, requiring you to complete a series of interactive online knowledge workbook assessments throughout your learning. At the end of the course, you’ll also be required to complete a short online assessment where your knowledge and understanding will be more rigorously checked. There are no limits on how many times you can re-take any of the assessments and there are no additional costs to do so.

HFE student completing multiple choice theory exam


  • Completed online
  • Interactive questions
  • Scenario based
  • Instant results

Using small equipment in matwork Pilates

If you want to learn more about using small equipment in matwork Pilates session then the following information might be of interest to you.

Why use small equipment in Pilates? What equipment is included? Why complete this course?

In a matwork Pilates session, small equipment offers a fantastic way of customising exercises so that they better match the individual needs of students. For example, with an exercise like thread the needle, a foam roller can be used as a support aid for shoulder and to guide the movement, or a small ball or hand weight as a prop to add additional resistance/load to the exercise.

Ultimately, the musculoskeletal and skill-related benefits of a matwork Pilates class can be greatly enhanced by the introduction of small equipment because it gives the instructor a resource that allows every student the ability to achieve their true potential by working at a level that is appropriate for them.

In Pilates, small equipment can be used for a variety of reasons, including to change the effects of the exercises, allowing specific muscles to be better isolated. Where appropriate, small equipment can also provide resistance, support, stability, kinaesthetic feedback, and/or variety, preventing students from becoming bored.

Small equipment can also be used for modifying exercises for students that have specific injuries, pain, disabilities, or functional deficits and limitations, allowing them to participate in the class at an appropriate level.

Pilates teacher assisting student with exercise ball

Throughout this course, our Clinical Pilates teacher Lorna, will take you through over 40 separate exercises, each incorporating multiple pieces of equipment so that you develop a comprehensive understanding of how to use this equipment safely and effectively to achieve a range of different effects.

The course includes a wide-range of small equipment, including the Pilates ring, hand weights, resistance bands, a dowel, small Pilates balls, stability balls, gliders, towels, straps, half foam roller, full foam roller, blocks and bricks.

Pilates instructor demonstrating how to use Pilates ring

Whether you are looking for a little inspiration for your Pilates classes, you want to learn how to better meet the needs of your clients, or, you need to complete some additional CPD to demonstrate to your employer or CIMSPA that you are keeping your skills up to date, this course has you covered.

Throughout this programme, you will deepen your knowledge of the Pilates method, delving further into the principles of Pilates and how to better align your teaching with these by using small equipment. You will get instant access to hundreds of exercise variations utilising various forms of equipment and you’ll be able to evidence your achievements with a HFE and YMCA Awards endorsed certificate.

Ultimately, this course is for anyone passionate about learning how to better tailor matwork Pilates exercises to the specific needs of individuals, either for their own training and development, or for their students.

Pilates students performing exercises with a circle

Keep in touch

Subscribe to our newsletter for all of the Pilates information and updates you'll need. Occasionally we'll also send you offers and discounts.

Thank you for signing up! You'll hear from us soon. Until then, why not take a look at our blog?

Request more information

Back to top