I always use modifications for those how have trouble executing an exercise either due to an injury or because it’s hard for them. I also explain to the class that it’s ok to use modifications in order to would avoid any injuries and its part of a progressive process. Not everyone is in the same fitness level as the rest of the participants and this is the safest way of improving, getting stronger and be more efficient.
All American Barre Technique Classes are taken by a cross generational range of individuals. Each individual has the ability to take the barre class at their own pace. You, as the student, can push yourself to make the class harder, or you can take it slow, to make the class simpler. This strategic development of ABT is what makes the technique extremely valuable and successful. The class can be enjoyed by a 20-year-old as well as a 75-year-old. American Barre Technique is safe, effective, and fun for students with varying abilities of fitness levels. To become an instructor visit our website: www.americanbarretechnique.com
1) Teach to the group you have. Immediately noticing the fitness levels, strengths, and limitations of your group will better enable you to target the spectrum of abilities you have in your class
2) Make sure the majority of exercises are ones that everyone can do. Then, the intensity or “advanced” versions can come from an increased range of motion, a slightly higher weight, or an increase in exercise tempo. Giving people a choice within the same family of exercises keeps everyone challenged, without having to make an obvious regression. It’s a pet peeve of mine when someone says, “If you can’t do this, do this instead.” So I start with an exercise that has several variations and go up from there – “If you want more, you can….”
I also like Karin’s suggestion about reminding people that they can work at their own pace and that “challenging” is relative to the individual. I ran a very successful circuit class for 8 years, based upon that principle. Everyone set their own “hard.”
The other thing that helped me teach multi-level was getting to know my clients over time. My average class size was only 12-18 people, rotating between about 30 regulars and 50 sporadic attendees, so it was possible for me really know those 30 and their bodies well, and at least the key points of the other 50. I plan around the 30 (knowing not all will come to each class, but considering their needs), with lower an higher options.