Group exercise is more viable than ever. Since the rise of Jazzercise in the 70s to the current plethora of movement options, community-minded fitness is the backbone of the industry. Social fitness unites everyone, and this became particularly evident during the pandemic lockdown, when virtual classes became a much-needed salvation from exercising in isolation. Group fitness connects. It inspires, engages, and changes lives.
The world needs connection more than ever, and group fitness is one way to address wider health and wellness issues. In a recent edition of Australian Men’s Health, editors wrote: “Group exercise will never be for everyone. But its rising popularity, whether at big boxes or small boutiques, is a strong predictor of the gym’s future as a hub of an increasingly precious commodity: human interaction.”
Post pandemic, people are wanting to connect on a personal level and they want to feel as if they are part of a community again. If you, as an experienced group fitness instructor, can create top-notch experiences, you’ll mark your place as a key player in a larger movement to forge a healthier tomorrow.
Group Fitness Trends
How do you stake your claim and help your participants—whether they’re in the studio or the virtual space—capture the momentum and co-create a wellness community that supports everyone?
Here’s how group fitness trends are shaping up for 2022 and beyond:
- Creating and encouraging diversity and inclusion will continue to be a theme for fitness studios and related apps. Fitness professionals have a responsibility to create a diverse environment, especially since access to fitness has increased, thanks to online and home workouts. Gone are the days when it’s acceptable to shame people for not having a “beach-ready body.”
- Mind-body formats may be even more relevant, since classes with this focus strive to connect breath and movement, which helps the nervous system in numerous ways. Many people are struggling with mental health challenges, as well as financial pressures and stress management issues, and need health-promoting tools. Research has shown time and time again that mind-body practices like meditation, Pilates, yoga, tai chi and more offer lasting results.
- And what about fun? Group fitness has always been a gateway to glee, which is something the world desperately needs. Let’s be real: there’s something about exercising in a group that makes us feel good. Maybe it’s the shared endorphins, or that “high” people get when they hear their favorite song. It doesn’t matter how well someone can follow choreography. What matters is that they moved, smiled, and will hopefully return for more.
The Evolution of Group Fitness
IDEA Health & Fitness Association was there at the beginning. Starting as the International Dance Exercise Association, IDEA laid the groundwork for the past 40 years of growth. We’ve been educating the industry for decades, with an expansive content library and a proven commitment to helping fitness professionals succeed.
That is what the “plus” stands for in our reimagined membership—it represents all that you do to Inspire the World to Fitness®.
As a member, you have exclusive access to varied content and resources, and we’ve featured a tiny fraction of our library below. If you’re not a member, we’ve unlocked these so that you can get a feel for our community.
Inspire the Masses with These Resources
Indoor Cycling by Science
There you sit, spinning your mental wheels, trying to create a successful indoor cycling workout . . . again. What if you had an easy-to-follow template that would empower you to design effective, fun classes and get results week after week, ride after ride? These programming formulas can easily be adapted to cardio indoor cycling classes, using the four-step system described here.
5 Traits of the Best Fitness Instructor
As a group fitness manager, you may already know who your best fitness instructors are. However, you’re lucky if you see your instructors once a week, especially these days, and there’s probably no way to monitor every action. If you try to boil the contribution down to numbers, you might create a team focused less on winning and more on trying to impress you. It’s time to change the score card and think more broadly about what you value in employees.
Creating a Fitness Class Family
As group exercise instructors, we can get wrapped up in creating choreography, choosing music, cuing effectively and teaching proper technique. While all these aspects are important, we sometimes lose sight of the overall picture and miss the opportunity to connect with participants.
Sample Class: Cardio, Core and Balance
If your students enjoy a challenging workout but you sense they may be growing bored with your traditional HIIT class, try adding unique bonus exercises to keep people interested, engaged and motivated! This cardio, core and balance class incorporates lower-intensity (but not easy!) unilateral balance and core moves in between cardio intervals.
Watch and Learn!
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It’s time to supercharge your warm-ups with groups and individuals! In this fast-paced, hands-on course, experience how to immediately engage…
Circuit training continues to be one of the most popular formats for group exercise and small-group training. Learn how to…
Interested in learning more about how to grow with the fitness industry as it enters a new era? IDEAfit+ affiliation is the key to life-long success as a fitness and wellness professional.