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Set the Pace!

The best indoor cycling instructors get it: The workout isn’t about you; it’s about the people you’re coaching. Your class is an opportunity to shine a light on others and help them feel successful. It’s a forum for building confidence, inner strength and community.

An engaging start is like a handshake; it introduces you to the riders. It’s your time to capture your audience by rolling out the carefully constructed plan you’ve created especially for them.

Sample Class: Sand Bell HIIT

More flexible and variable than dumbbells or kettlebells, sand bells are sand-filled disks that can be lifted, slammed, tossed, curled, or flipped like a heavy pancake. The following playful workout mixes high-intensity cardio and strength training with two levels of progression, creating a user-friendly class for any participant.

Sand Bell HIIT Details
FORMAT: strength and cardio conditioning
TOTAL TIME: 55 minutes

Yoga for Optimal Performance

You’re a student of the body, committed to helping people improve their functional capacity and independence. Human movement is complex and uniquely individual. From a physical perspective, joint structure, neurological patterning, muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia and skin all affect movement. Psychological and emotional factors may also cause restrictions.

The ABCs of Teaching Yoga

What makes a yoga teacher skilled, effective and relatable? In reality, you could answer this in several ways, but there are some key principles that make up the foundation of a teaching practice. Let’s call them The ABCs of Teaching Yoga.

Surprisingly, the ABCs are not always taught in professional training programs, and many teachers find themselves stumbling through their classes when just starting out. The good news is you don’t have to! I’ve outlined everything you need to know here.

Kickboxing class with a woman in the foreground ready to perform an uppercut.

Kickboxing Safety: Back to Basics

Kickboxing classes may not be as popular today as they were in the late 1990s, but people still love to hone their skills with this effective cross-training option. Whether you’ve been teaching for several years or you’re just getting started, it’s always a good idea to review the foundational concepts that make up this total-body workout.

Hot Yoga May Provide Heat Stress Conditioning for Athletes

If you’re looking for a good cross-training technique for your more athletic clients, suggest they practice hot yoga, which may boost aerobic performance while minimizing exercise stress.

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, researchers recruited 10 elite female field hockey players for observation. All athletes participated in 60-minute hot-yoga classes (30 degrees Celsius/86 degrees Fahrenheit) over 6 consecutive days, during which they did not engage in any other exercise. Following the intervention, the athletes played in a national-team camp.

Mindful Exercise in the Pool

The sensory-rich pool environment—soothing and simultaneously challenging—is an ideal setting for mindful movement and a welcome respite from digital stress. It’s also a place where people of all ages and ability levels can thrive. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that aquatic exercise posted the third-greatest growth among group exercise and training protocols in the 2017 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report, with 12% facility member participation last year, up from 7% in 2014.

The Peak of Fitness

The mountains are calling. The jagged and distinctive Dolomite range—part of the Italian Alps in northeastern Italy—features 90,000 acres of mountainous terrain, perfect for outdoor adventure enthusiasts from across the globe, including a dedicated group led by PJ O’Clair, owner of ClubXcel and Northeast Pilates Education Center and a cycling enthusiast.

New Mindful Outdoor Leadership Program

As green exercise and the health benefits of spending time in nature gain more prominence in popular and scientific news, the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is introducing a Mindful Outdoor Leadership Program in October.
The curriculum includes elements of forest bathing, Ayurveda, yoga, outdoor skills, and research related to nature’s health benefits.

Question of the Month

When you offer training advice to clients, are you discussing the significance of sleep? If yes, are you using sleep trackers and monitoring results? Please describe how you are educating clients regarding the role of sleep in effective training and weight management and share any success stories you have had.

Share your responses with executive editor Joy Keller, [email protected]

Pilates for Recreational Athletes

Professional athletes of all kinds have discovered that adding Pilates to their training can improve performance, reduce injury, speed recovery, and help their hardworking bodies stay balanced and healthy (Caple 2016; Knowlton 2016; Saxon 2016). Pilates—a whole-body exercise system that can help you develop strength, functional flexibility, coordination and balance—can offer those same benefits to recreational athletes. A well-rounded program, particularly one offered in a fully equipped Pilates studio, can do wonders for athletes of almost any age, ability or sport.

The Long-Term Benefits of Pedometer Use

Studies show that tracking daily steps with a pedometer leads to higher activity levels. A new report out of the U.K. suggests the practice can inspire people to take more steps for many years.
The report included data from two separate 12-month studies; one involved inactive adults aged 45–75, while the other featured older adults aged 60–75. In the first, participants were assigned to one of three 12-week pedometer-based interventions—consultation with a nurse, support by mail or no consultation. In the second, there was no mail support group.

Teaching Yoga at the Wall

As a yoga teacher, you guide participants through a practice that deepens their understanding of asanas (poses) and how these take shape in students’ bodies. You cue, coach, align, adjust, demonstrate and discuss, and you offer tips on breathing, anatomy, “feel” and sensation. Often, the most effective way to help participants understand a specific element is to slow down, grab a prop or two, and work a little deeper. You may have access to straps, blocks and bolsters, but you might be forgetting another perfect “prop”: the wall.

Thai Yoga Improves Flexibility

If your clients need to improve their flexibility, you may want to encourage them to try Thai yoga during their time away from training. In a review of randomized controlled trials, researchers found that consistent practice of Thai yoga improved muscular flexibility and specific joint range of motion. Thai yoga is from traditional Thai medicine and includes gentle dynamic stretching, deep breathing, meditation and self-acupressure.

Activity Tracker Usage Improves

The initial finding—that people stop using their fitness trackers after the first 6 months—seems to be evolving. In a new study by insurance company Humana, 80% of participants in a structured program were still using activity trackers after 6 months. Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia found that game design elements—such as points, levels, badges and financial incentives—helped to keep users active.

Creative Ideas That Inspire

TabataRide, offered at various JoyRide® locations and based on Tabata™ workouts, is an indoor cycling class that offers high-intensity interval drills that include 20 seconds of top effort and 10 seconds of recovery, repeated for 4 minutes. This is followed by 1 minute of rest before repeating the cycle. The high-energy, super-athletic classes at this studio are designed to “torch calories and boost endorphins.” In addition, the instructors strive to provide authenticity, joy, humor and positivity.

How (and Why) to Host a Family-Themed Indoor Cycling Class

Every Thursday morning, my cycle studio fills with an array of participants, ranging from accomplished Ironman® finishers to preschool moms trying to maximize their minutes—and Nora, a 92-year-old great-grandmother. Together we pedal like maniacs, laugh, sing a few refrains and walk out soaked through with sweat. In the cycle studio, participants of all ages and abilities can be motivated by being in a group, but riders can still slow down when they need to without sticking out. In fact, my own cycling journey began when I was pregnant and in search of a low-impact workout.

Creative Ideas That Inspire

KONGA®, at Funk & Twist Fitness in Basingstoke, England, is a high-intensity offering that incorporates elements of boxing, cardio, dance and sculpt. The program vibe is fierce and wild, and sessions are set to upbeat music designed to inspire and motivate. The class is updated each month with fresh choreography so that participants don’t become bored or hit fitness plateaus. It’s appropriate for all levels, from beginners to seasoned fitness enthusiasts.

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