School’s out for summer and even hardworking, stressed-out adults look forward to the fun that this season promises. As the weather and moods improve, people start to spend more time outdoors and less time in the group ex room. Even dedicated group fitness participants begin to move their workouts outside as the weather warms. So what can you, the group instructor, do to combat this exodus, keep your class numbers high, and participants happy?
Summer is all about playing and having fun; Think back to your childhood summer breaks; what filled your time? Outdoor play, team games, and your best friend, right? So we should make our classes fit that into that description as well! It is an obvious answer to move the classes outdoors (in the shade, if possible) but what are some other ways we can replicate our childhood experiences in a group setting, without playing dodgeball?
What about an obstacle course? Portable gym equipment like Gliding Discs, the Lebert Equalizer, and long resistance bands allow you as a group ex instructor to build obstacle courses inside a group ex room or outside in the grass.
I grew up loving to play games with my playmates, didn’t you? Try the Mirror Match game:
- Everyone has a Bender Ball.
- You are the lead and they must mirror you (similar to Simon Says).
- If you put the ball around your head, they put the ball around their heads. Then you put the ball around your head and under your knee and they follow suit.
- Start simple, but quickly add one fitness movements like squats and lunges.
I still play Tic-Tac-Toe with my husband when we are bored in a public location. In your fitness class, set up gliders or step risers as the Tic-Tac-Toe grid pattern. Partner 1 runs to place their marker in the grid. Partner 2 must wait until partner 1 runs all the way back to the starting line before running to place their colored object in the grid. I like using small pilates or resistance bands as markers for the partners.
Limbo or Tug of War
You know it was not an elementary party with playing limbo! The Lebert BUDDY SYSTEM and battle ropes make for a great limbo line! You know what else those pieces of equipment allow for? Tug of War…
For more ideas, go for a walk down memory lane and see what other games you can convert into movement-based fun!
What other fun games and finishers do you like to include in classes? Share them in the comments below!
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AFAA: Certified Group Fitness Instructor