For years, yoga has supported my career as a b-girl (breakdancer) and professional contemporary and hip-hop dancer. From this stable foundation, I’ve built strength, grace, balance and power. The following sequence—which blends dance, yoga and footwork drills—has the basic structure of a hip-hop class. The combination gives participants a unique cardio experience while safely building flexibility and increasing upper-body and core strength.
Here’s an idea: Add spinal stabilization (in neutral) and mobilization movement to your core-training repertoire. Students’ posture will improve, and the exercises will ensure that daily living activities involving extension and rotation are efficient and pain-free.
Circuit training is one of the group offerings that has shown the most growth in recent years, with 77% of fitness facilities offering it in 2010, compared with 69% in 2002 (Schroeder & Dolan 201). Today, this popular activity is positioned for continued growth. Circuit training’s success can most likely be attributed to its structure and dynamics. The format allows participants to experience a large variety of exercises and equipment at whatever intensity the students choose. They compete only with themselves, and they don’t have to be in sync with others. newsletter_teaser: Check out this great sample class circuit from the IDEA Online Library. Take class participants through a medley of multidimensional movements. As an IDEA member, all of the sample classes in our library are free to you.
Strength is important, but functional strength is essential—and for this, variety is key. “More for the Core” takes participants through a flowing mix of methods, disciplines and combinations that engage and activate even the tiniest muscles with continuous, dynamic movement. It’s a perfect way to prepare the body for activities of daily living. More for the Core Details
format: core-specific Total Time: 60 minutes Equipment: none newsletter_teaser: Flow through core strength and stability with this combination of fun, challenging moves. As an IDEA member, all of the sample classes in our library are free to you.
The definition of core work varies from format to format and means different things to different people. My own perspective has evolved over 28 years of yoga, running, dancing, Pilates, shiatsu massage, cadaver dissection and opera singing. Of all the core muscles, the respiratory diaphragm seems to be the most underutilized.
Everyone from elite athletes to average clients can benefit from learning more about breathing or reprogramming the way they breathe. More specifically, by teaching them techniques that emphasize diaphragmatic breathing, you will help them meet their exercise goals. newsletter_teaser: Check out this great article from the IDEA Online Library, and learn how improving poor breathing patterns can go a long way toward helping clients excel in their physical pursuits.
Fitness “toys” can make a big difference in helping class participants heighten body awareness—especially awareness of their core muscles. Case in point: a small, soft, inflatable exercise ball known as a sponge ball or Pilates miniball. The miniball comes in a range of sizes, from 7 to 12 inches in diameter, and is a great addition to many classes.
Pilates is touted as one of the most successful methods for increasing core stability and flexibility.newsletter_teaser: Pilates is touted as one of the most successful methods for increasing core stability and flexibility. Several studies have defended these claims, but a recent hypothesis that creating stability locally will create flexibility globally further supports them.
Instructors, it’s time to take your core work off the floor. There are many fantastic ground-bound exercises that target the core—and you should definitely keep them! However, if you learn how to “sneak” in core work while standing, every workout has the potential to enhance participants’ strength, power and functionality.
Do you want to revitalize the core sections of your classes? Training the core is fundamental to any program. Why not add new “twists” using fundamental, but often underused, equipment? Medicine balls have been around for years and are a staple in boxing and sports performance communities, as well as many fitness facilities. If you’re struggling to find new ways to incorporate medicine balls into your group classes (besides Russian twists), check out these variations.