A CLEVER WAY TO GET MORE FROM GROUP FITNESS...
If you want to get the most from your group fitness class experience, the way to do it has nothing to do with the warm up, number of reps or spot on the floor. Instead, it has to do with breaking down the invisible wall between you and your instructor.
Depending on where you work out and what classes you attend, you may experience this: a perky, enthusiastic instructor greets the room. Silence. She then asks about injuries. Silence. During class, she shares encouragement and possibly cracks a joke. Silence. The class ends, the room clears immediately.
As a group fitness instructor, I've had some pretty stoic classes, and it's totally fine-- part of the territory. However, there are sunny students who greet you back, smile, make eye contact and thank you for a great class. As a result, these students are getting more from the class than their peers. Students who show genuine interest get more manual adjustments, cues for specific corrections and shout outs by-name to keep them going.
Want to get more from class? Try this:
1. Show up early.
Why? >> Tell instructors about specific injuries or conditions. Instructors will give you modifications to keep you working safely.
2. Ask Questions.
Why? >> If you're "feeling it in the neck" or if something doesn't seem quite right, ask. Instructors will give you explanations and insights to help make your future workout more effective.
3. Request Corrections.
Why? >> If you’ve noticed your instructors giving manual corrections during class (walking around, adjusting students’ forms), let them know you’d appreciate any corrections. SPECIAL BONUS: if instructors also assist with stretches, you'll be the first to get the extra umph (since they know you aren't afraid of hands-on help!).
And, one last note: there are some really great and less than great group fitness instructors out there. Go to as many classes as possible and try as many instructors as your schedule permits. Believe me, the search is worth it.