The key, IMO, to small group training is planning the exercises to that everyone has an option that’s challenging for them, even in partner work. I understand and respect the feelings behind Janet’s last sentence, but there are NO dud partners in my class. The moment we make someone feel like they’re the weakest person or an undesirable partner, we’ve lost them.
I teach primarily with the CrossCore180. I strongly prefer it to the TRX because of its pulley at the top that engages core more effectively (stabilizing transversely), identifies imbalances quickly (they will pull unevenly and it’s very easy to see), and has more exercise possibilities. But regardless of which tool is used, I can put clients of very different levels of fitness on the same move, at the angle that challenges them, and both feel a safe and effective workout.
When I plan partner work, I make sure that the exercises will work if the person with the strongest targeted muscle pairs with the person with the weakest targeted muscle. Most of the time, this means changing their base of support and/or increasing or decreasing lever length. So if I’m doing a stationary warding drill with no equipment, hand to hand, I’ll have the partner with the stronger core stand feet together, or even lifting their inside foot. Additionally I’ll have them extend their arms long. The partner with the less strong core will stand with wider feet and/or they’ll bend their elbows a bit, so the distance between their core and the lever arm shortens.
Multi-level exercises are key (actually, they’re key in any group-ex class, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic that I could hop on a soapbox about). It’s not just with the CrossCore, but with every exercise I do. If I can’t provide a safe option for that exercise for EVERY CLASS ATTENDEE, it doesn’t go into my class plan. OR, I’ll make up an alternate exercise for the one or two people who have injuries and I’ll show them before class, “I made an exercise just for you because I know your shoulder is still hurting. When we do X, your exercise will be to do Y so you can keep your arm below shoulder height.”