I’m always looking for ideas to inspire my classes, and I’m usually pretty brave about what I’ll try. I search for new music, novel ways to use the studio space and unique cuing methods. I also look for interesting and different ways to get students absorbed in their 1-hour class experience. An approach I call “The Coffee Klatch” works wonders in cultivating …Read More
Flexibility is an essential fitness component that decreases with age and physical inactivity. Traditionally, stretching as a warm-up has long been recommended for individuals who engage in exercise for rehabilitation, injury prevention, health improvement and athletic performance enhancement (American College of Sports Medicine [ACSM] 2006, Kovacs 2006, Shrier 2004). The proposed goals of acute stretching…Read More
When I started in group fitness almost 20 years ago, I was taught that the warm-up offered many benefits and was a mandatory segment of a properly designed class. Even so, I took warm-ups for granted and saw them as an obstacle I needed to overcome in order to get to the “good stuff.” It took me years to figure out that a fun, effective warm-up could set the tone for the entir…Read More
Water warm-ups are similar to land warm-ups in that the purpose is to raise the body’s temperature and to practice movements before working out. This is where the similarities end. Water warm-ups require additional consideration owing to the element’s viscosity, temperature and buoyancy.
This warm-up is divided into two parts: buoyancy and cardio. The sections each la…
We want every class we teach to be well-rounded and efficient, and yet we often shortchange participants by neglecting the much-needed cool-down/flexibility segment. Let your students know how important it is to gradually cool the body. Keep them focused all the way to the end with creative variety. The following cool-down keeps things interesting by combining rhythmic movement, balance a…Read More
Flexibility training has been promoted for decades as an integral part of fitness that may help decrease the risk of injuries; release pain associated with musculoskeletal stiffness; and improve sport-specific performance when range of motion (ROM) is essential. Wh…Read More
The cool-down is a great time to introduce and explore the mind-body connection. During this phase, the body and mind make the transition from intense physical and intellectual stimulation to a state of equilibrium. Promote this balancing effect by harmonizing yin and yang energies, …Read More
It’s the end of your class, and your students are enjoying every second of the workout you so carefully planned. The energy in the room is upbeat, and everyone just wants to keep going for a few extra minutes. So the million-dollar ques-
tion is this: Will you keep going until the last minute, or will you leave enough time for a proper cooldown and stretching?
The BOSU® Balance Trainer has rapidly become part of our group fitness classes. Its versatility makes it a great addition to almost any format; however, it is essential to acclimate students to the dome’s uneven surface before warming up.
For a safe and successful class, teach participants how the body reacts on the BOSU by introducing moves that generate warmth in the muscles as well as the mind. This will help students adapt and feel more confident, opening the door to greater learning and participation.
Thacker, S.B., et al. 2004. The impact of stretching on sports injury risk: A systematic review of the literature. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 36 (3): 371–8.
Purpose. Researchers at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion systematically reviewed the research literature in order to assess whether stretching effectively prevents sports injuries and to make recommendations for research and prevention.Read More
Group fitness instructors have always been innovators, viewing movement as something they can continually make more creative and fun. High-low is an example of an evolution that worked. This mixed-intensity class followed on the injured heels
of the 1980s’ high-impact aerobics.
Inactivity is taking its toll on human beings. As fitness professionals, we are keenly aware that society is fascinated with the human body—with losing fat, specifically—and yet, getting people to exercise is still a major obstacle. Obesity, a significant and growing health problem, has been associated with heart disease, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension and hyperinsulinemia, among…Read More
If you’re like most group fitness instructors, you’ve probably devoted a good deal of time to planning
innovative cardio workouts for your participants. But how much time have you spent worrying about the warm-ups for your cardio classes? Your cardio warm-ups may last only 5 or 10 minutes, but they deserve your attention, too.
Once upon a time, group fitness instructors started their strength training classes with a relatively static warm-up that consisted of single-joint movements, such as head circles, shoulder rolls backwards and forwards, and hip swings side to side. As the industry progressed, warm-ups became more varied and we branched out—maybe too far out! Today’s warm-up options range from no warm-up at all to 10-minute, low-impact cardio warm-ups, with many variations in between.Read More
Some controversy surrounds the role that stretching exercises play in regard to fitness training, especially group fitness classes. Perhaps more than ever, debate is brewing about the proper time and place to stretch. Exactly when and what type of stretching exercises do we need to include in our classes? Although little definitive research is available on the subject, fitness experts are trying to reach a consensus.Read More