Common group fitness class instructions demystified

Understanding all of the phrases that go along with a group fitness class can help you stay motivated and work toward your goals.
Understanding all of the phrases that go along with a group fitness class can help you stay motivated and work toward your goals.

Let's see if this situation sounds familiar: You take a group fitness class as a way to recharge your weight loss plan, you start the routine, and then realize you don't understand half of what the instructor is telling you. If this has happened to you before, don't feel out of the loop - it's likely that there are several other exercisers in your class that are in the same predicament.

You may have even made it through your aerobic workout and realized that you were doing some of these motions wrong - which could impede your athletic performance. No one said working out was easy - but it does make things a bit more simple if you fully understand the terms that are helping you get back on track with healthy living.

Fortunately, Fitbie gave an excellent breakdown of these common confusing terms that are often heard in group fitness classes and put them into terms that even a beginner exerciser could understand.

"Tapering" - This is a phrase commonly used by trainees who are reducing their exercise intensity before an upcoming competition (such as a marathon) so that their body has enough time to rest and recover before a major performance. However, tapering can be used in less strenuous environments too. For example, after a tough cardio kickboxing workout, you may taper into a meditative yoga session the next day to give your joints and muscles a breather.

"Draw your belly button toward your spine" - This is a cue in many yoga and Pilates classes that is used to activate your ab muscles. However, in layman's terms, this movement is nothing more than sucking in your belly. This is important in protecting your back and engaging those core muscles during endurance training.

"Find your breath" - Almost all forms of exercise have some sort of breathing rhythm, from yoga to cycling to swimming. If you find yourself in a situation where your muscles and cardiovascular system are challenged, your instructor may tell you to "find your breath" so that you get back on pace with the workout and don't get winded too quickly. Keeping up a steady rhythm also lets you block out any outside thoughts and allows you to focus on your body.

"Knit your ribs together" - This is a phrase commonly heard in Pilates and barre training, and it is basically commanded so that you protect your spine. When you pop out your chest during exercise too much, it can throw your spine out of alignment, but pulling in your ribs lessens stress on these joints while engaging your core at the same time.

"Use your core" - You may hear this several times during many group fitness sessions, from spin classes to yoga. Have a stable core is a benchmark of any exercise routine and prevents injury in your lower back, spine and hips. By drawing in your stomach and moving your hips toward the midline of your body, you create one long line that gives you the strength and balance to move through several cardio challenges.

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About the Author
David Johnson

+David Johnson is a true health enthusiast and is someone who is passionate about educating others on weight loss, fitness and healthy eating. He believes that with proper exercise, healthy eating and natural supplements you can avoid 70% of illnesses and also improve confidence and self esteem. "Everyone needs to find their balance in life and be able to enjoy everything life has to offer, including great food, and maintain a healthy lifestyle".