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Programming

Warm Up With Rhythm

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

No-Equipment Outdoor Workouts

It’s that time of year when springtime reinvigorates clients and participants, coaxing them to come out of hibernation and play. Why not leave the fluorescent lights behind and take class outside? Parks, fields, even parking lots are great places to lead outdoor workouts. There are options for everyone—and you don’t have to lug around a bunch of equipment, either. Maximize your time and space by incorporating simple, effective body-weight exercises that improve strength, speed, power and flexibility.

Question of the Month: April 2019

When you design training programs for clients, do you take exercise enjoyment into account? What strategies do you use to find out which types of physical activities clients enjoy doing most? Through experience, have you found ways that work better than others? Share your best practices and illustrative stories on how efforts to optimize client enjoyment of physical activity have produced better training results.
We want to hear from you!

Creating Enjoyable Training Programs

Physical inactivity levels continue to rise in spite of widespread knowledge of the negative consequences. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers suggest the issue may not come from a lack of knowledge but from how exercise is programmed. Studies show that simply manipulating elements of the FITT principle (frequency, intensity, time and type of exercise) does not improve adherence to exercise.

Plank Variations

Forearm plank, side plank, plank with hip dips—all are group exercise favorites. The plank is one of the most familiar and effective choices for core work, and it’s an easy addition. However, how many times can you program that same old plank? Fortunately, with a little creativity, a basic plank can be amazingly versatile. Just add simple movements and a little resistance to make an already challenging move even more interesting and effective.

The following variations are best for participants who can hold a plank with
good form for at least a minute.

Strength Training for Women

Adding programming that addresses strength training for women allows you to customize your offering and provide great client support. The key is in understanding muscle physiology and what women, specifically, need to succeed.

Integrated Stretching

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?

Sample Class: Sand Bell HIIT

More flexible and variable than dumbbells or kettlebells, sand bells are sand-filled disks that can be lifted, slammed, tossed, curled, or flipped like a heavy pancake. The following playful workout mixes high-intensity cardio and strength training with two levels of progression, creating a user-friendly class for any participant.

Sand Bell HIIT Details
FORMAT: strength and cardio conditioning
TOTAL TIME: 55 minutes

The Confidence-First Approach to Weight Loss

Benefiting from family ties. When 20-year-old Erick first met Ethan Kopsch, NASM-certified personal trainer and owner of Bird Rock Fit in La Jolla, California, Erick was less than eager to start a training program. Kopsch had been training Erick’s mom for some time, and she was so pleased with her progress that she encouraged Erick and her daughter, Michelle, to work with the trainer.

Sample Class: The Playground

Do you remember recess? That break in the monotonous school day when you could run wild and free, lost in playful movement? The glory of the playground lingers in many of your participants’ memories too, and you can help to recreate that experience by taking your next class a little less seriously.

Turning the group fitness studio into a playground is a great idea for stressed-out, time-crunched, social media–weary adults who need a break from responsibility. So grab a whistle, cue the bell and get ready to inject some fun into everyone’s day!

New Mindful Outdoor Leadership Program

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.

The Importance of Exercise for Addiction Recovery

Substance use disorder can wreak havoc on people’s lives. Fitness activity can be a
transformative way for those in recovery to heal, rebuild their lives and find a community of healthy supporters.
According to a study published in Mental Health and Physical Activity in 2011, patients with substance use disorder who exercised while in recovery reported feeling greater strength, improved health, a sense of accomplishment, and increased confidence about staying clean and sober.

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