I was on a mission to head to Healthworks at least once this weekend. I need to be sure to go as much as possible so that I don’t let my Workplace Warrior team down!
My hike the other day made me realize how bad my cardio fitness is right now and I am determined to improve this. I decided to find a low impact way to improve-the elliptical. I did 2 miles which was as long as I could with my feet not going completely numb and then did a mile on the treadmill.
After my little cardio workout, I headed to the 4pm Healthworks vinyasa yoga class with Ceylan. Right off the bat when Ceylan entered the classroom she asked if anyone had any injuries. I spoke up immediately and told her of my hips. She told me to just listen and she would come by to help with modifications if necessary. She asked me my name and called me out a couple times in the class (but not in a bad way or anything). It was nice because she made me feel like she knew me!
Throughout the class Ceylan discussed modifications to poses and explain the purpose of each sequence. She would tell us it is ok to rest in child’s pose or whatever pose we needed to if we were in a funk today. This reminded me of an article Margaret mentioned to me from Sirena Bernal on How to Teach a Better Class: 5 Tips for Fitness Professionals. Here is a recap of some of Sirena’s tips and I have added some of my input on why I suport her tips!
- Ask if there are any injuries! If an instructor asks about injuries it is showing that the instructor is aware and professional. Because I am recovering from an injury, this is particularly relevant for me. I want the instructor to know why I may have to stop working out during a particular move or lets the instructor know that there should be some modifications available. If the instructor provides modifications, their clients can get the most out of their workout.
- Introduce yourself and the class! When I went to body pump the other day the instructor just dove right into the class and I felt so out of place. I like when the instructor makes me feel at home like Ceylan did. Sirena mentioned how an introduction can make the client feel more comfortable, especially if the class is new or the client is new to exercising as a whole. I know I felt pretty intimidated in the body pump class because I had no idea what was going on! If the instructor had did a little class intro I would have felt much better. I wished she had told me how much would have been good weight for a beginner so that I didn’t fear a weight falling on my face!
- Explain what and why. Whenever I know why I am doing something, I remember it more and I am more able to do it properly (or at least try). Since I’ve been doing a lot of yoga lately, I’ve noticed that I respond better to poses when I am instructed what is going on and why we are doing it. Also, this can ensure that the client is not going to get injured. After my body pump class my back hurt and I was wondering if it was from bad posture in some of the lifting moves.
- If you are going to be touchy feely-be sure the client is ok with it! In most poses I don’t mind adjustment from an instructor because it helps me get into the correct form. Other times where my hips may be stressed just the right amount, an extra push might cause them some pain so I wouldn’t want any assistance from an instructor.
- Give constructive feedback with the sandwich technique. If you know that someone is struggling with a certain exercise, don’t dwell on it! Help explain how they can make it better so they can try to improve it but be sure to point out where they are doing well. It can be discouraging if you just say where the person is failing, especially if they are newer to exercising.
Sirena gave some great tips/reminders for instructors because it can really make a difference! My personal trainer Heidi for the Healthworks Workplace Warrior Challenge has been doing a great job! My team and I are looking forward to our session tonight (pending on Sandy that is)!
What are some qualities you look for in a fitness instructor?
Friendly and fun but tough at the same time!
Do your feet go numb on the elliptical?
Almost EVERY time! I want to try to increase my elliptical usage though so that I can keep improving my cardio fitness
What is your favorite way to improve your cardio fitness?