Now that the new year has arrived, it’s time to make good on those promises you’ve been making yourself for days (okay, weeks) that you’d get yourself in shape as soon as the holidays were over. But anybody who has tried getting back into the swing of working out after a little hiatus knows that the feat is much easier said than done. Luckily, group workout classes make for a fun, simple way to get yourself back on the fitness wagon when you’ve gone slightly (okay, not-so-slightly) astray. If you’ve never been much of a group workout fan, though, you might need a little primer on just what it takes to get the most out of a sweat session performed in a group setting. Whether you’re a group fitness newbie or a pretty firm believer that there’s serious fitness power in numbers, here are a few tips to help you maximize your group workouts as you get back into a solid fitness routine this year.
Stay in form.
Your instructor would have to be Superman if they wanted to correct every single mistake every person in their class. So before signing up for a certain class, check and make sure it is something that you are familiar with or that your body can handle. If you and your friends want to take a specific class that you haven’t tried before, get all of your friends together beforehand and try to practice some of the exercises. If you are going to an unfamiliar class on your own, then YouTube will be your new best friend. There are tons of fitness classes that are filmed and posted online so you will be able to learn some of the moves that way as well.
Understand the lingo.
Each type of class has a specific language and words that participants should know, so make sure you are educated on that before taking the class. Pay attention to everything the instructor says, and if there is something you don’t understand, make sure to ask either during the class or take them aside afterward. If you don’t spend time figuring out what the trainer is really saying, then you could disrupt the class or imitate the people around you who also may have no idea what they are supposed to be doing.
Don’t take a fitness class if you have been having a bad day or you are in one of those moods where all you want to do is cry in bed or freak out on the closest person to you. If you go into a class with a bad attitude, chances are, you will complain the entire time and the class will only go by slower. Check your bad attitude at the door as best as you can. Don’t bring other stresses and problems into the gym with you. It will make your workout and experience better and who knows, your attitude could completely change once you break a sweat!
Give 100% effort.
When you work out on your own in the gym, it’s easy to get distracted by other people or your phone, which takes away from your invigorating workout. Don’t do this same thing in group workouts. You will burn more calories and get more out of what you’re doing if you keep yourself fully focused and in the moment. You will be happy you made the effort once the class is over.
Remember your injuries.
Before you start taking any classes, you should inform your instructor(s) of any injuries you may have had in the past that could be irritated or flare up while doing some of the exercises planned. Usually, if there are some exercises that could end up hurting you instead of improving your health, then your instructor can usually find a way to modify or personalize the exercise so that you can still take part in it. You need to take initiative and go up to your trainers though. They are not going to come to everyone in the room and ask them about their personal injuries. And while you are working out and you feel a certain pain, don’t push yourself or you could wind up with a long-term injury.