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.
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.
As instructors, we like helping our students achieve the best results possible. In today’s busy world, people want better results in less workout time. The high-intensity interval training philosophy caters to this need. HIIT features short, intense cardiovascular exercises that improve athletic conditioning and many other markers of health and wellness. I call the HITT workout provided here the “Trainer’s Triple Threat,” or Triple T.
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:
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.
During the past decade, the term functional training has been used to describe programs that mirror everyday activities. Functional exercises are sometimes referred to as multiplanar movements that require coordination of two or more limbs, muscle groups, joints or areas of the body. There is another simpler way to define functional movement: pushing, pulling, bending, twisting, squatting and lunging! Look closely at these gross motor patterns that humans perform daily and you see an easy formula and library of movement patterns for a strength training class.