Dancing is a great workout that delivers as many smiles as it does full-body benefits. To share those benefits with participants, however, you don’t need to teach a whole dance class. A dance-inspired warmup will help patrons prepare for specific movements while setting a perfect tone for class.
In general, a good warmup includes
For a moment, think about your own workouts. Tap into that feeling of being completely absorbed in your favorite fitness routine. Everything else fades away, and your entire focus is on the present moment. You feel confident in your body’s abilities, you’re challenging yourself, and you find great meaning in what’s happening now. You’re in the zone. Before you know it, your workout is over, and you can’t wait to do it again.
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.
While some participants don’t stick around for the cooldown, those who do are rewarded with the many benefits that stretching offers. Help students go a little deeper with a very simple yet versatile tool: a stretching strap.
Straps are great to have in your fitness toolbox (and relatively inexpensive for the program manager’s budget). They not only assist with proper positioning and numerous techniques but also nullify the “I’m not flexible enough” excuse.
Before we get to the stretches, consider these options:
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.
Education is the foundation of the IDEA World Convention, but this fitness event offers plenty more than stellar instruction. For Jonathan Bernath, publicist-turned-personal-trainer, it’s where he discovered the “fitness family” that would guide him in his new career.
Why is it that so few people can squat correctly, yet my 8-year-old son squats perfectly? I’ve never taught him how to squat; he innately learned how, just as he learned to roll over, crawl, pull himself up and eventually walk. He simply needed the freedom to allow his body to move. Movement before strength is key.
Energized! That’s how I feel every time I leave a fitness conference. I’m eager to implement fresh ideas and coaching tips into my fitness classes—a feeling I rarely have after completing an online course. Although I’ll be the first to admit that I need digital learning opportunities for their sheer convenience, I still crave live fitness education experiences.
Here are 5 reasons why you, as a fitness instructor, will reap the greatest benefits from live courses and conferences.
1 A Face-to-Face Community
Get participants jumping with a combination of functional fitness movements and plyometric exercises that create an intense and enjoyable interval workout. The functional moves build strength and coordination, while the plyometric drills focus on muscle power and cardiovascular fitness. Together, they provide a total-body conditioning workout.
Functional-Impact Fun! Details:
Goal/emphasis: total-body fitness
Total time: 45–60 minutes
There was a time when I was teaching 32 group classes per week for 14 companies, all with different demographics and with classes spread throughout the city. It wasn’t uncommon for me to teach in a collegiate setting, a fitness facility, a studio, a corporate office and a hospital, all in the same day. Could I have used the same generic fitness mix for every location or simply chosen a station on a music streaming app? Sure, if I’d been content to deliver a subpar experience.
Camp 4 at Mountain Challenge in Maryville, Tennessee, is an outdoor fitness facility inspired by Yosemite and created to counteract the obesity and inactivity epidemic. Once a week, Mountain Challenge’s backyard is open for recreational exercise and includes access to climbing, bouldering, group fitness classes and a yoga deck, as well as resistance bands and kettlebells for customized workouts. Student interns from the local college’s exercise science and physical education departments oversee the activities and help design programs.
Do your yoga students hunger to build a home practice but struggle to stick with one? Sustaining a regular home yoga practice can be challenging even for the most loyal yoga enthusiasts. But practicing independently—as a complement to learning from a skilled teacher—offers a variety of advantages that make it well worth the effort. Find out why a home practice can benefit your students, how you can encourage them to create the space for it, and what will help them get on the mat every day.
I was a new group fitness instructor taking someone else’s muscle-toning class. “You’re not going low enough,” the instructor yelled at me from across the crowded room. As flames of embarrassment burned my cheeks, I dropped lower into the Romanian dead lift even though I had just come from teaching my seventh cycling class of the week and my body was spent. But this was what the class required, I rationalized, and I was fit—I should be able to keep up.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep up, and as a result, I gave myself a nagging lower-back injury.
As a fitness entrepreneur, you may have noticed that Fridays are clients’ least favorite days to exercise. Your studio is packed on Mondays but nearly empty on Fridays—especially in the evening. Why?
H.I.I.P. Hype (High-Intensity Interval Painting) in New York challenges body, mind and creativity. Ninety–minute sessions begin with a warm-up followed by short intervals of high-intensity body-weight exercises interspersed with periods of painting. The energy participants generate while exercising helps them express themselves more freely when they paint, according to organizers. The last 15 minutes of class are reserved for a cool-down, as well as painting presentations. Mats and art materials are provided.
Don’t forget about the rowing machine—it’s a perfect tool to help client improve all areas of fitness.
Barrelesque at Rock in Opposition, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is a mash–up of various dance styles, Pilates and yoga. It includes barre techniques, but it also spices things up with burlesque–style dance movements. Open to all levels, this class provides a dynamic workout in a playful environment.
Games at My House Fitness® in Winter Springs, Florida, is a school recess–inspired experience for adults.
A thriving business is not built overnight, but you can beef up your bottom line and spark new energy in just 14 days. Learn the nuts and bolts of running a simple, 2-week Buddy Boot Camp that can be a slam dunk in your personal training or fitness business. Discover how to execute this program, which you can tailor to the size and strengths of your business model. Get ready to jolt your revenues and wow your current and prospective clients.
Shaka Fitness® in Cleveland puts a new twist on an old favorite with
SUP Pool Yoga.
While yoga on a standup paddleboard is not a new idea—especially in locations where people have access to ocean or lakes—this offering utilizes an indoor pool. This allows participants to experience the core-strengthening and balance-training benefits of yoga on the water year-round. Even better, the predictability of indoor weather conditions allows the facility to maintain a consistent schedule.
Do you have clients who want to improve their balance and body control? Encourage them to try ballet. A study published in the Journal of Neurophysiology (2015; doi: 10.1152/jn.00758.2015) found that individuals who regularly practiced the dance form had better muscle coordination.