A barrage of recent studies has shown the potential for high-intensity interval training to incite fat loss, increase muscular and cardiovascular strength and improve other health markers among participants. But how well does this format play out in a group setting?
Kettlebell training has experienced a resurgence of late. Going by the physical improvements the training can offer, is its popularity warranted? The answer is yes, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research (2012; 26 , 2228–33).
The scientists’ goal was to determine what effects the kettlebell swing had on maximal and explosive strength. They employed half-squat
1-repetition maximum and vertical jump height as assessment markers.
Kettlebells have seen growing popularity as a total-body training tool to improve cardiovascular health and musculoskeletal fitness. Yet for all the enthusiasm among personal trainers, experimental research on the effects of KB training was scant until last year, when studies began showing up in peer-reviewed journals. This column updates IFJ readers with recent research on KB training.
When it comes to warm-ups, indoor cycling instructors often fall victim to the “oatmeal effect”—good for you, but not very memorable. It’s easy to just jump on a bike and ride. However, with a little creativity and skillful instruction, you can engage participants from the start. Be prepared, connect with riders and add a little ingenuity. Begin with a warm welcome and a short introduction, and then ride into one of the following warm-ups.
Many people exercise in the water because of its low-impact nature. According to research presented in October at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, water exercise may provide similar cardiovascular benefits to land-based workouts.
Sports Club/LA in San Francisco members enjoy BLITZ™, a program that combines endurance, agility, core, strength and balance training. It provides customized one-on-one coaching in a group environment. The goal of the class, according to the website, is to “push yourself beyond your limits.”
Do your water fitness participants need a change? Mix up your normal routine with a jogging class. Take away the choreography and focus on speed or power intervals. Teach this class in a mixture of shallow and deep water. Modify as needed for participant ability or available pool depth. To encourage people to move mindfully, emphasize the following points:
Using the stability ball for cool-down stretches provides many benefits over traditional stretching. The ball’s reactive properties make stretching more dynamic, since balance, coordination and body awareness depend on certain muscles stabilizing while others stretch. Participants can modify moves by simply rolling deeper into the stretches or pulling back from them.