Teaching an aerobics class requires an appropriate balance of high-energy, knowledge and skill in order to deliver a rewarding exercise experience to students. All types of professional exercise instruction demands that the “expert” hold a specific certification. For aerobics instructors, becoming certified is also regarded as a method of enhancing knowledge and skill. Understanding the core fundamentals of how to teach an aerobics class enables instructors to instruct students how to execute proper technique within complex body movements.
The most basic aspects of aerobics instruction are also the most vital. A good aerobics instructor will take note of the amount of space he or she has to work with in a given fitness club. Space is a crucial component of teaching group classes because all movements should be able to be performed safely. It’s also important to identify the skill level of those who participate. Class sessions will feature a range of age and skill among participants. For instance, an aerobics instructor should plan to facilitate a lower-intensity routine for seniors than for a group of dancers.
It might not seem crucial, but choosing upbeat music is an important component of a high-energy aerobics classes. Music complements the movements associated with certain exercises and creates constant flow. Music tempos consisting of 150 beats per minute are good for high-octane moves while more soothing music is appropriate for stretching and toning. A good instructor does not underestimate the power of music in an aerobics-teaching environment. Smooth transitioning is another advantage of using music. All classes are timed, which means transitions between exercises need to happen swiftly. An instructor should keep a “cheat sheet” to help maximize the fluidity of a class.
The most difficult aspect of teaching aerobics is creating a routine. It’s important to keep exercises symmetrical, which means an equal numbers of movements should be performed on the left as on the right. A good instructor will incorporate a variety of exercises from ballet, jazz and Latin dancing into an aerobics session. Establish certain cues for students during each class to signal a transition between moves. This can be done using directional, numerical, rhythmic or visual signals. It’s important for instructors to remember that students are not experts, which means they need direction as to which foot to move and how to alter their breathing patterns. These cues will help keep the class moving in constant flow without interruption.
The best aerobics instructors understand the abilities of their students and pay close attention to symptoms of overexertion. Everyone in the class should be able to get a good workout without feeling the strain of not being able to complete a specific exercise. This is why it’s important to teach proper technique when transitioning between dance moves and incorporating exercise equipment, like free weights, jump ropes, mats and resistance bands. Most importantly, an effective instructor always asks for feedback after a class and modifies his or her program based on students’ needs.
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