Several years ago, I attended an IDEA World Fitness Convention™ session led by Michol Dalcourt, director of the Institute of Motion. During that presentation, he discussed hockey camps he used to lead and described the differences in capabilities among the young athletes. He remarked that athletes from rural areas tended to perform better on the ice than those from cities and towns. His assertion: The rural hockey players’ advantage was due to full-body training using low-tech “tools” like heavy logs or hay bales.
There are several ways to define “functional training,” but essentially it involves moving the body through different planes of motion while working multiple muscle groups and challenging balance. While complex moves are perfect for one-on-one training, teaching functional movements to a large group is also possible with a straightforward strategy that allows for modification.
Take a break from choreography and give your students this athletic challenge on the step. The interval format is easy to teach and can be adapted for all fitness levels. Interval training is a valuable tool for re-energizing students and increasing their fitness levels, and it fits in nicely with other popular “metabolic training” programs. Also, because of its intensity, this class combines well with other formats such as weight training, yoga or mat Pilates.
Boogie Box Fitness rolls cardiovascular training, core balance and strength training into one program by utilizing the principle of “applied muscle resistance.” The 50-minute interval class is a “high-intensity fusion of hip-hop and Latin dancing, mixed with kickboxing, plyometric exercises and military drills.”
Some people have limited time in their busy days to exercise. Others think that working out for 60 minutes is tiresome. In either scenario, finding the time or energy to take an entire fitness class can be a challenge. Providing efficient workouts that take less time can encourage these folks to get to the gym. Another big benefit: shorter workouts can also yield many of the same psychological and physiological benefits as longer ones.
Do you fondly recall when hand wraps, focus mitts and challenging combinations ruled the fitness scene? Boxing and kickboxing classes never really went away, and they are still popular in many fitness facilities across the country. Whether you’re already teaching this style of class or hope to in the near future, you’ll want to have a solid warm-up planned for students.
Interval workouts are popular, easy to teach and challenging for students at various fitness levels. When you build a reliable structure into your intervals, participants are better able to manage their energy output, which optimizes effectiveness and results.
With structured intervals, you set up specific rest and work times in advance so that students know what to expect. Knowing the work period is only 20 seconds long, for example, allows participants to challenge themselves at a very high level in anticipation of an immediate recovery.
What are students looking for? Do they want to look better, perhaps perform better in sports or leisure activities? Do they want to be stronger? For many, it’s all of the above. In addition, most people want to feel better. What can we do as instructors to help participants feel empowered and rejuvenated? In this sample class, we apply yoga principles to traditional strength training moves. This fusion offers the best of both worlds: improved strength, posture, performance and appearance, as well as an increased sense of calmness and self-acceptance.
Inspiring sedentary and obese people to adopt healthy lifestyle changes can be a challenge. Even if you don’t teach water classes, here’s an opportunity for you to inspire others in a water environment. Lazy rivers—“streams” with slow-moving currents—are becoming popular at many recreation facilities across the country. Fitness instructors can take advantage of these unique water settings to teach morbidly obese, deconditioned, physically challenged or sedentary adults movements that they can perform successfully. newsletter_teaser: Check out this great sample class from the IDEA Online Library. Lead participants through a comfortable stroll that will boost confidence and function. As an IDEA member, all of the sample classes in our library are free to you.