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Warm Ups/Cool Downs

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Warmups to Get Wrist-Ready!

By Christy Stevenson | 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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Kickin’ Cooldown: Post-Kickboxing Stretches

By Lynne Skilton-Hayes | April 23, 2019 |

Kickboxing is an empowering class that builds confidence and improves balance, cardiovascular endurance, proprioception, strength and dynamic flexibility. It’s an effective total-body workout, especially when taught correctly, with key tenets in mind. Some say kickboxing is on the downswing; however, it’s possible that any decline in popularity is due, not to the format itself, but to how it’s being taught (or mistaught). It continues to be a staple in many facilities.

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Sample Class: Mindfulness and Strength

By Melissa Weigelt | April 23, 2019 |

If you teach high-intensity classes, you may have noticed that many of your devoted students don’t take advantage of gentler options, such as restorative yoga, foam rolling or low-impact classes. Cross-training is necessary for peak fitness and reduced injury risk, yet persuading participants to try something new or different is not so easy. This class, Mindfulness and Strength, prioritizes mindfulness and flexibility.

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Warm Up With Rhythm

By June Kahn | March 25, 2019 |

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

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Integrated Stretching

By PJ O'Clair | January 16, 2019 |

When it comes to integrated stretching, the TRX® Suspension Trainer™ is a helpful tool. Stretching can often feel somewhat passive; however, the game changes when you hold straps or attach them to your feet. Our bodies move in patterns, not in isolation, so why not enhance that concept and include this equipment in your cooldowns?

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New Mindful Outdoor Leadership Program

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 23, 2018 |

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.

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Strong Starts

By Melissa Weigelt | August 22, 2018 |

The warmup. Is it simply a time for small talk while people trickle in, or is it an opportunity to ignite attendees’ best efforts? This may be the class section that fitness instructors plan the least, yet devoting some time to designing the warmup is really worthwhile. Why? Because starting on a strong note significantly affects the outcome of the entire workout. We want our participants to get the most from our classes, so let’s set them up for success.

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Pilates for Recreational Athletes

By IDEA Authors | August 22, 2018 |

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.

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Thai Yoga Improves Flexibility

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | May 10, 2018 |

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.

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Facilitated Flexibility

By Aileen Sheron | April 25, 2018 |

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.

Five Techniques
Before we get to the stretches, consider these options:

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NEAT Exercise for the Brain

By IDEA Authors | April 20, 2018 |

Have you heard that prolonged sitting can be as bad for health as smoking (Owen, Bauman & Brown 2008)? The good news is that movement can help, and it doesn’t have to be a marathon. One avenue worth exploring is nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). NEAT encompasses the calories burned while living life: walking to work, fidgeting, typing, folding clothes, washing dishes, running errands and so on; only sleeping, eating and sports are not included (Levine & Yeager 2009).

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IDEA Fitness Journal

IDEA Fitness Journal

Current Issue:
December 2019

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