Step training has been a staple in the fitness industry for a quarter of a century. Although participation started to wane a few years ago, it has resurged thanks in part to the fusion of traditional and newer classes. Whether choreographed, stylized or athletic in nature, step training remains a great form of exercise.
A woman’s body will change more in 9 months of pregnancy than a man’s will in his lifetime—and she needs an exercise program to match the transformation. So says maternal exercise expert Farel Hruska, national fitness director of FIT4MOM® (formerly Stroller Strides®) in San Diego. “The biomechanics of motherhood are unique and specific,” Hruska explains. “A mom-to-be will need to master strength, agility, balance, speed, acceleration, deceleration, directional change and rotation . . . all with load that increases every day.”
Booties, butts, glutes and rumps. Our fascination with enhancing our posterior spans the training spectrum, from the aesthetic-focused client to the performance-driven athlete. Yes, we want our backsides to look better, but we also need them to function more effectively, judging from the increasing number of knee and low-back injuries (Hoy et al. 2012).
Whether you want to run a marathon for the thrill of it, to cross it off your bucket list or to qualify for the prestigious Boston Marathon, it all starts with a single step. When you put together enough steps to cover 26.2 miles, you become a marathoner!
So how do you run a marathon? Jason Karp, PhD, the 2011 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year and author of Running a Marathon for Dummies, gives you strategies below.
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.
Most cycling class participants walk away dripping in sweat, satisfied knowing they got a highly effective cardio workout. But do they have any sense of making progress from session to session--or even improvement within a single session? Do they have a specific goal they can reach in 1 hour and immediately celebrate? Give participants palpable proof of progress with this easy-to-follow formula designed to challenge all levels!
Imagine a client has just finished a workout or fitness class with you. In evaluating the workout—which you designed to be quite challenging—the client admits, somewhat disappointedly, that although she worked up a good sweat, your session wasn’t a “killer.” She has experienced harder workouts from other trainers, classes or programs.
What’s your reaction? Do you still feel satisfied that you gave the client an appropriate workout? You weren’t going for “killer” anyway. Or do you feel a twinge of regret or competitiveness? Next time, you’ll up the ante.