Continuously coming up with fresh and exciting workouts for clients is one of the challenges of being a mind-body or group fitness instructor, but it’s also what makes the job fun and interesting and sets you apart as an instructor.
We asked two Merrithew® Instructor Trainers to share their tips on how they come up with new workouts and exercise plans to keep clients engaged, motivated and eager to return week after week.
Q: How do you keep your classes fresh and exciting for clients?
“Keeping classes fresh and exciting for clients is always a welcome challenge. I like to keep my skills current by taking the latest Merrithew workshops, and by gathering tips and ideas from Merrithew’s Instagram account and monthly newsletter, especially the Exercise of the Month video series.
Sometimes I find it helpful to look back through my STOTT PILATES® manuals. This allows me to rediscover different elements and nuances of the repertoire, which I can make new again for clients by teaching different modifications.
What I find most effective is presenting a workout in a new context, like adding a prop or varying the orientation of how the exercise is typically performed. For example, taking the Hundred into a kneeling position on the BOSU®. This brings a new level of awareness to the exercise and the clients can focus on something they already know in a new way.
My favorite thing to hear a client say is, ‘We’ve never done that exercise before in that way!’ It lets me know they’re paying attention to their progress and proves that instructors can continue to amaze and challenge their clients, even the ones who come week after week.”
Merrithew Corporate Training Center
“To keep my classes fresh, I use a variety of props to enhance certain postures and movements. Variety is key, especially when you have regulars coming to your classes— they like to be challenged and enjoy playing with new fitness accessories.
Recently, I’ve been really into the Flex-Band® Loop, which I use with my clients for lateral hip strength. Since it’s winter in Canada right now and our sidewalks are often slippery, this exercise will help them improve their balance.
I also like to use the Stability Ball™ for extension and rotation exercises to release the neck, shoulders and thoracic spine, which often hold tension during cold weather.
I try to incorporate movements in all different planes of motion to make sure the workout is balanced and I use an enthusiastic tone of voice to keep the energy level up.
In January and February, I often crave a reset. I like to reinvigorate myself and my clients, so I’m always looking for ways to freshen up my programming and my own personal workouts. I take a lot of inspiration from the other sports and activities I do besides Pilates, all of which give me ideas on how to make my classes more creative and dynamic."
How do you keep your clients engaged and motivated? Share your tips in the comments!