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Christy Stevenson



Article Archive

Warmups to Get Wrist-Ready!

August 21, 2019

Body-weight training remains popular because it improves functional strength and is really accessible—it requires no equipment and can occur anywhere. For various reasons, however, many participants can’t handle the load that body-weight training places on the wrists. While you can certainly offer plenty of modifications, such as doing pushups from the knees, why not focus on preparing the wrists during the warmup?

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Partner Warmups

February 16, 2018

Have you noticed the latest trend? Instructors are incorporating partner work to add intensity, motivation and a sense of community. Prepare your class for success by teaming people up during the warmup. Below are a few full-body exercises that hit the upper body, lower body and core in a coordinated movement pattern. Before you start, get everyone in the “sidekick spirit” with these tips:

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Partner Up to Warm Up

December 18, 2017

Have you noticed the latest trend? Instructors are incorporating partner work to add intensity, motivation and a sense of community. Prepare your class for success by teaming people up during the warmup. Below are a few full-body exercises that hit the upper body, lower body and core in a coordinated movement pattern. Before you start, get everyone in the “sidekick spirit” with these tips:
Cue participants to find a partner as they enter the room.

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Warmup Plan: Targeting the Hips

September 21, 2017

Eager class participants want to tap into their highest potential, and group fitness instructors have been acknowledging this by offering workouts that are more explosive, more powerful and fuller in range than ever before. However, intense, dynamic workouts demand a warmup that truly prepares the body. Specifically, you must target the hips—hip flexors, piriformis, glutes and hip rotators—to avoid possible tweaks from all those lunges, squats and burpees (not to mention repetitive stress from cycling and running).

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Hit the Hips!

August 23, 2017

Eager class participants want to tap into their highest potential, and group fitness instructors have been acknowledging this by offering workouts that are more explosive, more powerful and fuller in range than ever before. However, intense, dynamic workouts demand a warmup that truly prepares the body. Specifically, you must target the hips—hip flexors, piriformis, glutes and hip rotators—to avoid possible tweaks from all those lunges, squats and burpees (not to mention repetitive stress from cycling and running).

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4 Ways to Warm Up With a Medicine Ball

August 24, 2016

Medicine Ball Measures
Properly prepare participants for the rigors of intense workouts.
by Christy Stevenson

Before you bring on the burn in popular classes like high–intensity interval training, make sure attendees are ready. Amp it up with these medicine ball exercises, designed to limber the body in multiple planes of movement, prepare muscles for load and initiate core engagement. These moves ensure that participants are prepared for vigorous variations of push-ups, burpees, tuck jumps, mountain climbers and advanced medicine ball exercises. The more purposeful the warm-up, the more successful the workout.

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Active-Aging Stretches

August 2, 2016

People invest a lot of money in the search for eternal youth. But one of the most effective, inexpensive and pain-free ways to look and feel younger is to exercise, including performing daily stretches that ward off kyphosis (rounding of the thoracic spine, resulting in a hunched shape); keep the spine mobile; lengthen the quadriceps to help sustain a tall, lifted posture; and maintain a healthy range of motion in the hips.
Encourage participants to shift their focus from “anti-aging” to “pro-aging” with stretches that support an active body over a lifetime.

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Program Design: Plyometrics + Strength

April 25, 2016

Many participants are showing up to class ready to be pushed hard. The challenge for you, as the instructor, is to keep programs form-focused and safe while providing the dynamic moves people crave. This workout—which mixes high-impact plyometrics with controlled, fluid strength moves—allows you to do both.

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Tips for a Successful Relocation

March 18, 2016

Because I grew up a “Navy brat,” I had to move around fairly often as a kid. Adulthood brought with it a few more moves as I navigated college and marriage. When I had my children and we’d finally settled into an area where most of our extended family also lived, I thought we were there to stay. I taught fitness classes regularly and helped to supervise the group fitness program. I had several personal training clients and led monthly fitness instructor certification courses. I even presented at the state fitness symposium.

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Sample Class: Jump & Glide

December 13, 2015

Have you noticed that participants are showing up to classes ready to be pushed hard? The challenge for you, as the instructor, is to keep class form-focused and safe while providing the dynamic moves participants crave. This workout—which mixes high-impact plyometrics with controlled, fluid strength moves requiring mindfulness—allows you to do both.

Jump & Glide Details

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Warm Up With Stability Balls

September 24, 2015

Instructors tend to spend most of their creativity on the main body of the workout and forget to choreograph an equally inspiring warm-up. Instead of relying on ho-hum step-touches, hamstring curls and classic knee lifts, incorporate the stability ball for an unforgettable warm-up that limbers up the body in all planes of movement.

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Social Networking for the Pilates Pro

December 13, 2013

In this age of social networking, it is imperative to connect with clients outside your facility via the Internet. Gone are the days of relying only on fliers and posters to tell clients about your offerings and events—now it’s all about engaging with clients on your blog, your Twitter feed or your Facebook page.

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Sample Class: 3 x 3 Progressive Cycling Circuits

October 24, 2013

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!

The Formula

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Youth Fitness: Teaching Strategies

January 24, 2013

Now more than ever, teens (aged 13-19) are attending group classes, either general sessions or teen-specific ones. To design safe, successful workouts for teens, it’s vital for instructors to understand this age group. Teens are no longer children but are not quite adults. Adolescence is a time of great growth and development–physically, emotionally and mentally.

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Pilates for Runners

December 13, 2012

Running has long been a favorite fitness activity for millions of people. However, as more people catch the running bug, more also succumb to overuse injuries. Running tends to be high impact, it’s repetitive, and it occurs mostly in the sagittal plane. No wonder, then, that many runners fall prey to injury or imbalance.

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3 Pilates-Inspired Moves for Runners

October 2, 2012

Running has long been a favorite fitness activity for millions of people. It’s an accessible cardiorespiratory exercise, a fun social event and a natural antidepressant. However, as more people catch the running bug, more also succumb to common overuse injuries.

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