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Classes for Different Groups
Aerobics takes on many types of classes. Depending on the health and fitness centre you attend will depend on the class type and format. The following list will give you an idea of what you may come across and what you will find in them.
* Hi Impact Aerobics - Movements with both feet off the ground at the same time
* Low Impact Aerobics - Movements with at least one foot in contact with the ground at all times.
* Hi-Low Impact Aerobics - a mix of both hi and low impact aerobics.
* Step - A low or high impact class utilising a step/platform to go step and down on
* Advanced - Hi impact, very choreographed movements and combinations or a fast fitness class incorporating lots of running..
* Moderate Pace - Hi Low class
* Beginners - Low impact
* Body Sculpt - A class utilising weights and muscle conditioning work. The class will begin with a warm up and maybe a cardiovascular section. (Other names for this type of class include: body blitz, tummy hips and thighs [THT], toning class).
* Pump/Power Bar - An exercise to music class using a barbell to complete a weight work out covering all major muscle groups.
* Interval - This is a class with a mixture of hi-low aerobics and weights. It may consist of 10 minutes aerobics, 5 minute weights etc...
* Tri-Step, aerobics and weights
All classes are going to be called different names wherever you go however basically the same type of class will be offered at gyms and it is up to find which one you prefer and enjoy participating in.
CLASSES FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF PEOPLE
FOR MATURE/OLDER ADULTS
This group of people can make up a great proportion of your clientele. They generally do not like loud music, so keep it soft or at a medium level. Most prefer low key surroundings (avoid bright lights, mirrors, posters of super fit young people). Older participants are often more concerned about joint movement and flexibility than weight loss and can relate better to an older instructor who shows respect and individual attention to their requirements. It is very common that this type of population attends for social reasons to meet others and relax.
FOR PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES/COMPETITIVE SPORTS PEOPLE
This can be a hard group to cater for because they can vary considerably in the type of sports they are involved in, and elite athletes may require very specialised fitness components. The triathlete, swimmer, runner or aerobic orientated person will want a hard, advanced class to challenge their fitness. Depending on the type of sport and the fitness components to be improved will depend on the type of training employed. You may find elite athletes require personal training/one on one to best achieve their goals.
Personal training is becoming more and more popular, but is expensive, and so limited to those who can afford it. It is great way however to increase motivation and improve knowledge and technique with work outs. Personal Trainers usually have up to date knowledge on the latest techniques and research done in the fitness industry.
These type of clients can generally be catered for a little easier than other groups. Generally their cardiovascular fitness needs to be increased, and the basic fitness components of strength, flexibility and muscular endurance can be improved as well. Attending classes with easy to follow fitness routines will allow beginners to keep up and enhance their skills almost immediately. A basic low impact class with a caring and understanding instructor will be a good start to any beginners fitness regime.
This population is increasingly becoming involved in fitness classes. Fitness classes for children are extremely important for the following reasons.
There may be low levels of Physical Education training and sport education in schools.
Increased concern for overweight and obese children and adolescents.
Poor diet and exercise regimes.
One of the problems is the lack of health and fitness centres offering programs for these customers. Weight training for children and younger teenagers is not recommended therefore fitness/aerobics programs can be a great way of ensuring that this group gets suitable exercise.
Owners/managers of gyms should expand their timetable to include specific classes for younger children and teenagers. Instructors should increase their knowledge on children's fitness. Teachers need to promote extra curricular activities and parents should encourage their children to participate in more physical activity especially if the children are not actively involved in sport or other physical activities.
A suitable program for children would be as follows:
3 - 5 years: 30 minutes
Simple easy to follow warm up using a game or simple aerobic moves. No more than 3 moves should be used. For example: step touch, flick kick and grapevine. These moves are easy to give descriptions with for example when completing a flick kick emphasise flicking your boot off or kicking a football.
Other components of the class should be made up of stretching, shapes (arch position, push up position, straddle sit, etc...).
Simple skills including log rolls (sideways rolling), forward rolls, bunny hops (a tuck movement halfway to handstand) just like a Gymbaroo class.
To conclude the class a simple routine could be learnt like the Wiggles.
6 - 13 years: 45 - 60 minutes
Easy to follow warm ups with each lesson adding, linking and combing movements together to make routines or sequences.
Fun active games using the maximum participation concept. (no elimination or standing still at any one time)
Stretching even learning to do the splits
An aerobics routine, where the children suggest movements they would like to put together into a sequence. This can be practised many times over to increase cardiovascular endurance.
Circuits are a great idea to keep children moving and on task. The following example represents a great circuit and depending on how many children are in the class, the groups can range from 1- 5 individuals.
Skipping with rope
Weave running laps around cones
Super man position (laying on the stomach with legs and arms in the air)
Standing Long Jumps up and down room
At each station participants can go for 30, 45 or 60 seconds. Complete the circuit once recording their repetitions then try it again with participants trying to beat their score. This is a great way for them to compete against themselves.
The class could finish off with a routine that incorporates a theme. For example: Using YMCA - Village People you can get the children to do the actions on the chorus.
13 years and over: 45 - 60 minutes
This type of class is fun and rewarding. Begin with a warm up then cardio vascular section (hi and low impact) with simple aerobic movements and each week you can add them together to make combinations and mini routines. The main aim is to keep the class going for at least 20 minutes. A circuit similar to childrens programs can be used and movements can be made harder. For example change the push ups to a full position on the toes. Keep this going for at least 15 - 20 minutes. This 40 minute cardio vascular section should be enough to increase fitness if it is kept continuous.
Conclude the class with some strength and muscle conditioning exercises. Some abdominal, back and push up should be should be used. Try to reinforce good technique strengthening muscles. Work on strengthening all abdominal muscles especially ones for posture.
FOR INTELLECTUALLY AND PHYSICALLY DISABLED
Programs for this group are extremely important and popular. Fun, social and stimulating programs will allow many people with disabilities to get their body and mind active. Programs for people in wheelchairs can take on activities like ball catching and throwing, basketball, soccer and other sports that can be easily modified.
For individuals with more movement, activities using leg and arm coordination and fitness exercises can be implemented into the program.
CONFIGURATIONS OR PATTERNS FOR MOVEMENT
In a Class you might....
Arrange everyone in one or several lines, facing the instructor
Arrange one line which moves following the leader in a circle
Allow people to take positions at random (if there is sufficient room)
In a circle and the instructor in the middle
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