Sample Class: Mind-Body Muscle Mix

by Joy Keller on Jan 22, 2014

Class Take-Out

Introduce elements of yoga and Pilates to your boot camp classes.

Many strength-and-conditioning or sports-oriented exercise enthusiasts say they have no desire to add mind-body programs such as yoga or Pilates to their routines, citing lack of time, lack of interest or an inability to “unwind.” To help your boot camp addicts get a taste of the benefits of mind-body movement, seamlessly integrate aspects of yoga and Pilates into your functional boot camp class.

Note: It’s important to understand basic Pilates principles and yoga poses before teaching this class. Also, since yoga is traditionally practiced barefoot and this is a fusion boot camp class, give plenty of modification options with your alignment cues.

Mind-Body Muscle Mix Details

Format: mind-body/boot camp fusion
Total Time: 60 minutes
Equipment Needed: a variety of resistance bands, medicine balls and mats
Music: upbeat background music

Warm-Up (6–10 minutes)

Teach participants how to move with integrity and stay injury-free by connecting to the powerhouse and the breath at the start of the workout with any or all of these Pilates-inspired exercises:

  • the hundred
  • single-leg stretch
  • plank
  • swimming
  • hip bridge

Use the remaining time to do full-body compound movements that continue to warm up the body. Possible options:

  • full-body squat
  • modified burpee
  • lunge matrix
  • inchworm
  • zombie walk

Alternatively, guide class through three slow sun salutations, modifying for footwear.

Strength and Yoga Intervals (30-40 minutes)

Each section includes one standing or balance yoga pose (active rest), held for three to five breaths each side, followed by four exercises that explore pushing, pulling, squatting, lunging and rotational moves in various planes of motion. Some drills are done solo, while others require partnering up. Perform each exercise for 1 minute, followed by 30 seconds of rest. Finish each section with a 1-minute cardio move, and allow 1 minute to transition to the next section. Encourage participants to go “all out” during the cardio portions.

Section One

Yoga. Warrior II: Alternate sides after three to five breaths. Cue heel-to-arch alignment and strong arms.

Drills

  • Push-ups: Modify by dropping to knees or holding plank.
  • Resistance-band squat and row: Working with partner, use resistance tubing crossed in middle and perform squat/row simultaneously; or wrap band around an anchor.
  • Walking lunges: Hold medicine ball overhead.
  • Russian twists: Sit down on mat, knees bent. Hold medicine ball at chest, keeping spine long, and rotate torso from side to side.

Cardio. Burpees with medicine ball.

Allow at least 1 minute of active rest before moving on to next section.

Section Two

Yoga Tree pose (switch sides after three to five breaths); make sure foot is above or below knee, never on knee joint.

Drills

  • Medicine ball pass: Partners face one another and pass ball back and forth like “hot potato” while shuffling laterally.
  • Kickbacks: Partners cross two resistance bands in middle and face each other, taking a few paces back to add resistance. Partners hinge forward at hips, extend straight arms and pull handles down next to sides. Focus is on engaging latissimus dorsi and serratus anterior muscles.
  • Squat and press with medicine ball: Hold ball close to chest while you squat, and push ball high into air as you come up. Catch (or “receive”) ball, and squat; repeat.
  • Resistance-band wood chop: Pin one side of band underneath left (L) foot and grab tubing with both hands below top handle for more resistance. Pivot right (R) foot as you come up diagonally from L and bring tubing up toward your R shoulder. Switch sides after 30 seconds.

Cardio.Squat-hop.
Allow at least 1 minute of active rest before moving on to next section.

Section Three

Yoga. Warrior I; alternate sides after 3 to 5 breaths. Cue to keep hips forward, heel to arch alignment. Modification: high lunge.

Drills

  • Tubing chest fly: Partners cross two bands in middle and face away from each other. Lunge forward with opposite lead legs, hinge forward slightly and perform chest fly.
  • Angel wings: With pronated grip, hold tubing in middle (below handles), finding appropriate resistance. Keeping core engaged and shoulders down, abduct straight arms to sides, squeezing shoulder blades together. Option: Create diagonal “X” movements and change grip (supination). Make this a partner drill by standing side by side with one tube, holding opposite handles. Simultaneously abduct arms.
  • Loaded lateral lunges: Hold medicine ball at chest, and lunge L and R, standing tall in center. Add variation by stepping out at different angles.
  • Kneeling medicine ball chop: Partners kneel next to each other, mirroring bent knees, and toss medicine ball side to side. Switch sides after 30 seconds. Keep abdominals engaged and shorten/lengthen lever arms as needed.

Cardio. Power hockey lunges.
Allow at least 1 minute of active rest before moving on to next section.

Section Four

Yoga. Warrior III; alternate sides after three to five breaths. Keep hips level while balancing; place hands on hips, extend arms forward, or do “airplane arms.”

Drills

  • Power push-ups: Place medicine ball on ground and do quick side-to-side push-ups, always keeping one hand on ball.
  • Medicine ball slams: Grab medicine ball overhead, elbows flexed. Focus on contracting lats and triceps, and throw ball hard onto ground. Pick up or catch ball, and repeat.
  • Resisted squat: Anchor tubing under feet, handles at hips or shoulders, and squat.
  • Criss-cross: Partners stand back to back and pass medicine ball diagonally. Alternate directions after 30 seconds. Cardio: Partners chase rolling medicine ball.

Cardio. Power hockey lunges.
Allow at least 1 minute of active rest before moving on to next section.

Cool-Down and Stretch (8–10 minutes)

Finish with a series of calming, reflective yoga poses that help bring down heart rates while preserving the mind-body connection. The following sequence touches on all major muscle groups:

  • From standing position, sway side to side while stretching triceps and shoulders, both sides.
  • Step R leg back into high lunge, bring arms overhead, and stretch R. Switch sides; return to standing.
  • Do standing forward fold with hands clasped behind back, stretching chest.
  • Move feet to wide-legged stance and fold forward. After a few breaths, reach R arm to L shin or ankle. Repeat on opposite side.
  • From standing forward fold, return to center, place hands on hips, engage core muscles, and hinge torso back up to standing. Transition to triangle pose (alternate sides).
  • Do downward-facing dog (pike) pose and transition to pigeon pose on both sides. Give students the option of doing figure-four stretch from supine position.
  • Transition to seated on ground and do head-to-knee pose, followed by bridge pose and simple spinal twist (both sides).

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About the Author

Joy Keller

Joy Keller IDEA Author/Presenter

Joy Keller is executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal and is also a certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor, yoga teacher (RYT 200) and Reiki level 3 practitioner.