Types of exercise classes
August 30, 2007
What type of exercise class do you prefer, repetitious, freestyle, structured, choreographed, reciprocal, partnered, inclusion? These are just a few of the types and styles you will find in a fitness workout. Who cares as long as you sweat right! Well, it wouldn’t hurt for you to have a little knowledge about what you’re getting into when you sign up for that fitness class.
Your instructor decides what type of method to instruct. If you are a new candidate for sweat, you might find yourself in a command and freestyle class. And, if you found yourself in the back row without your glasses or hearing aid, you might lose out on a lot of the workout. In a freestyle workout you follow commands; continuous commands for combination movements. It requires less preparation time for the instructor and the movement changes can be made suddenly to accommodate time and space. Intensity flow during the aerobic conditioning can be irregular due to concentration on movement patterns.
Structured and choreographed movements are more time consuming for the instructor initially, but can be a bit more challenging for the student. Music is decided on and a set routine created. When an exercise sequence is choreographed, it gives the student more time to concentrate on the intensity of the move. There are fewer commands that are needed to guide the student, especially during the aerobic portion of the class.
Reciprocal or partner style involves the help of a friend for feedback, to tell you whether the movement is correct or when testing methods are being used. It can also involve the friend in the exercise itself, as in holding down the partner’s feet during sit ups, or working against each other with resistance movements.
Inclusion is a fancy word for everyone doing what is best and safest for them. Inclusion style exercise movements teach multiple levels of physical capability. In all classes and sports, learning to do different levels for all movements is the first thing a new student should work on. And it is one of the hardest challenges for any instructor. How you deal with a room full of people with different capabilities, and still get maximum performance is one of the challenges facing all exercise instructors.
If you find yourself in a class with all, or several of these types of techniques it will be exciting to say the least! Personally I use them all, but I like to let the music, and my mood, decide what I’m going to do. That way no one knows what to expect, even me.
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• Jerry Vance is the owner of Sweat Shop/Wet Sweat. She offers classes through the Carson City Recreation and Aquatics Center and is a fitness instructor for the Carson City Senior Citizens Center.