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Sinking in Sand

Each time you use your talent and abilities to guide clients in a scripted relaxation, you harness the power and privilege of being an agent of change. You are in a position to help alter clients’ days—and lives—for the better. Before you start any relaxation session, reflect on the following simple but critical tips. They will help you lead others so they get maximum be…

The Coffee Klatch

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 …

Pre-Exercise Stretching and Performance

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…

The Right Rehearsal

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…

Splash Start

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…

Go With the Flow

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…

Light and Dark

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, …

Senior Moments

The cooldown should be like frosting—sweet, smooth and so delicious that students want to stay until they finish the very last section of cake—err, I mean, class…

Too Cool to Cool Down?

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?

Balance Your Act

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.

does stretching reduce injury risk?

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.

Prime-Time Hi-Lo

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.

Get Creative With Circuits

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…

How to Design Hot Cardio Warm Ups

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.

Strength Training Class Warm-Ups

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.

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