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7 Essential Tips for Teaching Online Group Fitness Classes

You want to teach fitness classes, but you prefer to teach them to a group online. More and more events are done virtually, but how do you teach an online group fitness class?

As a general rule, when teaching an online group fitness class, the most critical step to your success is setting up the camera and any equipment to allow you to communicate and engage efficiently with your class. For more tips on teaching an online fitness class, check out the suggestions below.

To learn more about teaching a group online fitness class, check out these seven tips below.

Article Contents

What is Group Fitness?

Group fitness is a great place to learn how to exercise, especially if you are starting. A group fitness class is a wonderful place to find the structure and motivation you need to succeed at an exercise plan. Your instructor will make sure you do a warm-up and a cool down, which are essential to include with a balanced workout so that you are less likely to get injured.

Group fitness classes offer emotional support to help you achieve your goals. You will get this not just from an instructor but other participants in the class. Exercise groups are a great way to find accountability while still having fun.

Exercise instructors will make sure you do your exercises in the correct form to get the most benefit from them. Teachers make sure you are working all the muscle groups to give you a complete workout. Not only is having a variety of exercises essential, but it helps make exercise more enjoyable by allowing you to do new things.  

Pilates: Classic Group Fitness Activity

An example of a group fitness class you can take is Pilates. Pilates focuses on small, controlled movements that help strengthen and tone the muscles while stretching them. They mainly work the core muscles.

There are a couple of different types of Pilate classes. You might work out on a mat and do mat Pilates, or you could do reformer Pilates. Reformer Pilates uses a machine to create more excellent resistance. In both classes, you repeat small movements slowly and deliberately to tighten and tone your muscles.

Pilates promotes core strength and stability while working on endurance and muscle control. Pilates also helps improve balance and posture. Pilates is helpful for people who have back pain and who need to be more flexible.  Doing Pilates twice a week gives a person the strength training recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services. Still, it does not provide the aerobic exercise recommended to get the cardio exercise they need.  

Step Aerobics: A More Intense Option

Step aerobics, unlike regular aerobics, uses a portable block that you step on and off to accelerate your heart rate and build muscle. The bocks can range from a height of 4 to 12 inches. If you want a more challenging workout, you will use the higher blocks. This type of aerobics is more complex than you might think and sometimes may include hand weights to burn more calories. The instructor will have music that the moves for the step aerobics are choreographed with to get the most out of the workout.

Aerobic exercises use large muscle groups and are usually maintained for a long time, and generally rhythmic. Aerobic training has a variety of health benefits besides weight loss. For one, aerobics helps with cardio conditioning. Doing regular aerobic exercise can help lower your blood pressure and help prevent strokes and cardiovascular diseases.

How Do I Teach Online Group Fitness Classes?

What happens if you cannot teach a physical class and use the Internet to hold your class? If you cannot have class in person, the next best thing is to do it virtually. Virtual classes have become very popular in all areas of life in the past year. Check out the tips below to find out how to have an online group fitness class. 

7 Essential Tips for Teaching Online Group Fitness Classes

These seven tips below will help you be successful as an online exercise fitness instructor.

Dress Rehearsal

teach online group fitness - infoIt is good to have a dress rehearsal before the first class to make sure you have the best lightening for the time of day you live streaming. Then if you find you need extra light, you will know it in time to provide it. Natural light should be behind your camera, and you should be facing it.

  • Do you have your tripod set to the correct height? If you do not have a tripod, you can use other things like books to get the camera at the right height.
  • Do you have the music picked out? Is it long enough, and do you know which exercises work best with which part?
  • How is your sound? It is good to test a recording to see how it sounds and then make any adjustments needed.

You will want it low enough to interact with your clients. But loud enough to hear to move too. Facebook and other platforms may remove your video if you have music playing because of copyright laws. You might want to make a playlist and send it ahead of time to your class so that everyone is one the same song and time, but you avoid any legal issues over the music. You can also suggest your class use their music.

Make sure to have your camera vertically for the best results while filming. This positioning is vital if you plan to post the video on social media.

Wear brighter colors to class can help make it easier for your clients to see you when you are showing a new move or exercise. Dark clothing can make detailed movement harder to catch. Even if it is just adding some colorful leggings, it can help make you more visual to your clients.

Setting the Equipment and Camera

The most vital step to succeeding in an online class is taking time to make sure the camera and other equipment will allow you the best opportunity to communicate and engage with your class. You will want to ask everyone to arrive about ten to fifteen minutes early for the first class to help guide them to set up their camera and equipment correctly. You will probably want to call it a checklist for class or something similar.

Anticipate Problems and Have a Plan to Fix Them

Technology is fabulous but can fail us. The Internet can run slow or may lose connection at times. Knowing what you will do in advance will help you stay calm in these situations. What will you do about refunds should you lose connection? Do you have the most substantial connection available to you? Make sure you know how to work whatever platform you use while teaching your classes properly, whether Zoom or something else entirely. Practice using it until you feel comfortable.

Demonstrating Exercises

Be prepared to show how to do the exercises more than once if needed. Be sure to demonstrate how to do it while talking to the clients. Many people are not visual learners and do better when they see it visually.  This difference in how people learn is one reason the careful placement of cameras is so important. They need to see you, and you need to know if they are correctly doing the exercise and guide them with corrections when necessary.

Be Personable

It is imperative to talk more with online classes and make your clients feel at home in class. It is also essential to share a bit of your personality to help them feel more at ease. Have fun! If you aren’t having fun, neither will they. Don’t make it a ridged and clinical environment. Instead, make the class a place they will want to come back to regularly. Be friendly. Smile. Act naturally like you would if exercising with a group of friends at the gym.

Remember to Use Props and Equipment

When setting up for class, each participant places any props or equipment where you can see it, so you will remember what they have available to use during class. They can lay them along their exercise mat or some other easy to reach place.  

Understand That Teaching Online is Not the Same as Teaching in Person

Realizing the differences can help you adjust to them and even accentuate the benefits to your advantage. Of course, online teaching can be difficult because of things such as short delays in the video because of connectivity issues. Planning the exercises and the routine may seem more complicated too. However, many things make online classes beneficial.

Clients have to take on more responsibility for their fitness. They have to refine their movements and learn to cue themselves since you cannot do it for them.

Clients have to listen more attentively, which is good practice for other areas of one’s life.

They often feel more comfortable because they are in the privacy of their own home instead of the gym. This can help them relax and loosen up.

Many clients find themselves exercising more consistently because they do not have to drive halfway across town to exercise and then drive home. They find they have more time for other activities they would have typically spent driving. They can have their children at home and save childcare costs, and still keep their children in a safe environment.

Clients do not have to feel so self-conscience about their appearance. A person trying to lose weight may not feel comfortable putting on exercise clothing and walking around in front of strangers.

What about advantages to you as the teacher? You can still work without having to be in a specific place. You could even go on vacation and still do some or all of your classes if you chose while spending the rest of the day exploring tourist shops and exciting attractions. Internet is available almost everywhere, and you are only limited by your ability to connect.

To Conclude

Recent changes in our society and how we handle more affairs online have made teaching and taking fitness classes online very popular. A fitness instructor can easily adapt most exercise groups to online teaching sessions with a bit of planning and preparation. Be yourself while online and have fun. If you follow the tips above, you are sure to have a wonderful time teaching an online fitness class.