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Simple Sporty Start

Use this athletic-style warm-up for nonchoreographed classes.

Have you been having trouble drawing a new crowd into your boot camp, muscle-sculpting, core-conditioning or other nonchoreographed classes? Perhaps your “traditional” warm-up is scaring them away. Many people are interested in taking athletic-style classes but feel intimidated by the choreographed warm-ups instructors often use. The following simple, effective exercises will get students pumped up for class without making them trip over their two left feet.

Body Awareness and Joint Warm-Up

Emphasize neutral spine with core stability to maintain rib-hip connection.

  • Do 4 squats with limited range of motion (16 counts).
  • Perform 4 chair squats (arms overhead) (16 counts).
  • Lift alternating knees while standing in place (16 counts).
  • Holding left knee up, extend 4x (16 counts).
  • Repeat all, changing lead leg for lifts.


  • Step-touch to right (R) 2x (4 counts).
  • Step-touch to left (L) 2x (4 counts).
  • Step-touch to R 2x (4 counts).
  • Step-touch to L 2x (4 counts).
  • Jog in place, punching arms overhead (march option) (16 counts).
  • When ready, change step-touches to shuffles.
  • When ready, change jogs to jumping jacks (or alternating side lunges).
  • Perform hamstring curls R & L 8x (16 counts)
  • Do double-time hamstring curls (jog with feet wide) (16 counts).
  • Step wide and lift knees (knees to side, pulling arms down) (16 counts).
  • Jog in place with high knees (knees to waist) (16 counts).

Keep in mind that the counts are general guidelines only. It is not a priority to stay with the music. Hold each segment as long as necessary for it to be effective. Instead of emphasizing the beat, focus on body alignment and effective movement. You can even turn off the music and hold each move for 15–30 seconds. This approach may help draw new people into group fitness and create fresh energy in all your nonchoreographed classes.


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Eve Fleck, MS

Eve Fleck, MS, has a master's degree in exercise physiology and is the owner of Gym Without Walls in the Los Angeles area. She teaches exercise physiology at California State University, Northridge, and is a co-author of Growth and Development Across the Lifespan. Eve was a finalist for the 2018 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year.

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