As a new aerobics instructor I learn something new every week. I teach aerobics at West Virginia University Coliseum, and also for the Wellness program at Ruby Memorial Hospital. Both are entirely different atmospheres, hence two entirely different classes.
At Ruby, the room is kind of odd shaped…well it’s actually a break room, and they clear the tables and chairs off to the side. Oh, and it’s rectangle…and there’s no mirror. BUT I have mats, and just recently a few sets of weights! This class is a bit of a challenge for me because I have to keep the class entertained without any equipment. The fact we don’t have a mirror doesn’t help either. It’s harder for me to teach because I either stand with my back towards them so it’s easier for them to get the move…but I can’t see if they are following along or not, or I face them and it’s actually harder for them to follow along.
At any rate, I have been there a month now, and I love it. Let me tell you, “I really love this class, you’re great” is probably the best compliment ever for a new instructor who is struggling to please everyone, not to mention spread the word to bring in new participants.
I have learned probably a very important rule of thumb for teaching over the past couple of weeks: Be yourself. I have more fun (and I’m less stressed) when I just relax and teach it like I practice it. Jump around, throw some kicks and punches, throw in some squats and a brief toning session, and all the while enjoying myself. The class will be more into it if you are.
Since I don’t have any equipment at Ruby, it’s a little hard to add variety, though I have been doing a pretty good job with it so far. I start out with a five minute warm-up, then thirty minutes or so of cardio, ten minutes of muscle, and five minutes of stretching. Every week I try to mix up the cardio, and it can get pretty crazy. Sometimes I do hi/lo routines, break them down, and combine them, and other times I make them do circuit workouts. For the circuits, I have them jog in place for a minute, then maybe do jumping jacks for a minute, back to jogging, then let’s say…log jumps for a minute, back to jogging, and so forth. Other times it can get as crazy as doing walking lunges around the room or crab walks. I even steal some exercises my friend does in the air force and call the class my “boot camp” class.
I learned it’s all about being creative, trying new things and seeing what works best for you. It’s also about variety, and though they keep telling me I can’t please everybody I’m still going to try!
Any suggestions for exercises or routines to do without equipment?
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