Monday, March 18, 2019

What Makes a Successful Class?

  • Is it having a regular class on the schedule? 
  • Is it teaching your favorite format? 
  • Is it successful only if the room is packed wall-to-wall? 
  • Rave reviews by members or the public? 
  • Or, maybe getting paid to do something you enjoy?
Well, it can by any, or all, of these things. It may be some things not on this short list. However, at the end of the day, the question still remains: what makes a successful class? A successful class is one that participants enjoy from START to FINISH. A successful class is one that is taught safely and effectively. A successful class is one that remains participant-focused. As instructors, we sometime lose sight of the importance of keeping our classes focused on our students. Perhaps we’ve had a rough day at work. Maybe our child is sick. We could become more focused on our own performance in the class than our students. Or, maybe, we just don’t want to be there that day. 

In order to have a successful class we need to first remember WHY we do what we do. We’ve all fallen in love with certain formats and made the big leap to becoming instructors. At this point, we’ve transitioned from “participant” to “instructor”; the class is now in OUR hands and it’s success is up to us. In the trials of life, we have ups and downs. A rough day at work, that big upcoming project, a sick kid at home, our mood, or other personal concerns (and more) all can lead us to that “magical” land of DISTRACTION. We end up not focusing on our classes and the don’t receive our full attention. Our students deserve to have us at our best, especially when we are asking them to give their best selves to us

Having a packed class is certainly indicative of having a popular class, but is the class successful as well. Well, that depends. Depending on studio size, 60 may be packed, but so can 16. Also, the right format, at the right time, on the right day, can be a HUGE impact. I’ve often heard some instructors compare their class totals to other instructors. Ultimately, this can become a distraction too. Once again, this is an opportunity to refocus ourselves and focus on our students. We can do this by ensuring our classes remain fun AND fitness-based. Make certain your members are working hard—no matter how many are present. Keeping our classes focused on their fitness goals is a key to having and maintaining a successful class. 

Another key to having a successful class and keeping classes participant-focused is to remember: this workout is for our students, NOT us. Our role as instructors is to give our members the best workout of their day, EVERY day we teach. When we are focused on our squat (other than to demonstrate proper form) and not THEIR squat, we’ve shifted into being self-focused. One good way to making sure we keep our focus on our students is to FACE our students when we teach. Facing our members allows not only us to see them, but for THEM TO SEE YOU. It helps us to engage our students directly and each person in the room will feel like your smile was meant just for them. (Also, we get a better visual for any potential safety hazards that may arise and it’s easier to get the classes attention.) These are only a few things we can do for successful classes. 

However, the bottom line to being successful in your classes is simply remembering WHY you are there in the first place. It’s not to get paid (though that’s nice), it’s not because our name is on the schedule (names can be replaced), and it’s not because we need the workout (this may be true, but we need to do that before/after class). We’re there because we love sharing our fitness passions with our students. In return, they love us for being fully present and dedicated to keeping them safe while having fun! 🙂
Find Tee Online!
Move with Tee, LLC
Instagram: movewithteellc 

Monday, March 11, 2019

Happy Feet Make Happy Zumba® Instructors

Fitness is your passion, Zumba® is your love, exercise is fun. As a professional you instruct a healthy lifestyle, make fitness fun, and promote a safe environment for your participants. But what happens when you as the instructor is injured?

Many of your Zumba® classes include repetitive motions including twisting, jumping, lunges, plyometrics and squats. These motions are well known to have the propensity to cause injuries if performed frequently, without recovery and rest, and without stretching. As an instructor, it is your responsibility to create safe environment for your participants and manage your own physical well being.

Common injuries include sprains of ankle, tendonitis of the achilles tendon, plantar fasciitis, and strain to the lower leg and foot. Achilles tendon and plantar fasciitis are extremely common injuries experienced by Zumba® instructors. 

These types injuries are usually associated with overuse and typically starts as a sore muscle after an activity (commonly in the calf muscle). The injury progresses with swelling into the back of the heel and worsens causing pain during activity and rest. A hallmark symptom of Achilles tendon is the pain in the heel upon getting out of bed. Some people are even unable to bear full weight in the foot when getting out of bed. The injury progresses to plantar fasciitis causing acute pain in the arch of the foot. If left untreated the tight and inflammed gastrocnemius (calf) can tear or even rupture. The joints in the arch of the foot can also become stressed causing stress fractures. One thing is for certain, painful feet are not fun!!

Here are some helpful self management activities for calf  injuries:
1. Stretch before and after each class. Hold all stretches for 30 sec/5 reps to elongate the muscle.
2. Make sure the stretch is comfortable and is gentle no rocking or bouncing.
3. Visit the sauna after class coupled with further gentle stretches.
4. Hydrate! Hydrate Hydrate! Drink plenty of water pre-activity and post activity
5. Ice the injury after you get home on the Achilles or sore area in leg for no less than 15 minutes.
6. If your leg remains sore after a week, modify your routine and limit jumping and high intensity activities. If you are sore, most likely you are not alone.
7. Consider changing your footwear. Most shoes last approx six months commonly causing cramping and soreness in legs when the shoes near the end of their life.
8. Consult with a massage therapist for focused deep tissue work to on your legs to relieve muscle tightness and soreness.
9. If symptoms do not resolve themselves with self care consider consulting with a physical therapist or medical professional. The focus of this assessment will most likely include a comprehensive evaluation of pathology, strength deficits, biomechanical disadvantage(flat feet), and footwear evaluation. The PT or doctor could potentially make further recommendations for a consultation with a Podiatrist (foot doctor) or an Orthopedic doctor.

A successful instructor is not measured by the number of classes taught per week, but rather by teaching a diverse fitness aerobic class in a safe manner. Your class will appreciate the variety, injury prevention tactics, and most importantly, these tips can help with your longevity as an instructor.
Dr. Danielle Johansen, PT, DPT, OCS has been practicing physical therapy for over 25 years and is a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist. She is an adjunct professor at Shenandoah University. She is committed to providing injury care, prevention, management, and self care education. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

#TipTuesday Awesome Fitness Discounts

One of the great perks of being a Fitness Professional is the discounts at places you love to shop!  If you haven’t heard, there are several places that offer you discounts for being a fitness professional. Requirements will vary. Some will just need a photo of your license and/or certification(s), others may require full resumes.  Most are obtainable and usable online, but there are a few that require in store purchases and verification only.  These cannot be transferred, shared or used for resale purposes. 

Click on the business names below or links in the text to find out more about your great offers! 
Happy Shopping! 
This offers a 40% discount on online and in-store purchases of Victoria Secret Sport line until July 2019.  You must complete an online Application that requires an upload of a photo of your certification/license.  

This offers a 15% discount on 5 purchases.  It requires an application process, with upload of a picture of you, a photo of your certification/license and links to your social media.  

Join Lole’s Well Fitness Community to get a 30% discount.  This is a rather extensive application.  It requires social media links, personal application and a fitness resume. You can find the application HERE

Our mission is to elevate, motivate, and support women to grab life! Our vision is that women confidently and unapologetically prioritize themselves and find their happy-active.  Joining is fairly simple. Go to their Online sign up and they will contact you via email for an upload of your certification/license.  This will grant you a 25% discount on regularly priced items and tips and tricks sent via their mailing list.

Offers a 25% discount online and in FitHub Stores.

You will need to show an ID and valid certification (photo of your certification/license, or other proof of employment), you can receive 30% off any full-priced merchandise.

Your vibe attracts your tribe. Join the Yoga Ambassador Program for 40% off for life. Use this Submission form.  
You can get 30% online or in store. The first thing you need to do is register an account. You will just need to email a copy of your certification/license to Contact Sweaty Betty.  If you are in the UK or London, and some US based stores you can drop into a store and show proof of your certification for in store savings.

If you are a trainer or a professional with approved certification you can qualify for the Nike Training Club Pro. This is mainly for Personal Trainers, some yoga and Pilates instructors and some limited instructors with certifications that are approved by Nike. To see if you qualify visit this Link.  If you qualify you can get 30% off footwear and active wear.

By joining Ryka Fit you can get 20% off online only.  You will need to have a Group X or other accredited certification (ex. ACE, AFAA, NASM etc) to be approved.  You will need to have your certificate number.  You can fill out the application HERE.  They will contact you with information for the RykaFit program if you are approved via email.

Membership is open to qualified and approved athletes, outdoor professionals, employees at a current GU dealer, or individuals who work in the bike, run, tri, industries.  If you meet these requirements submit your info. You should hear back within 48 hours. 

Supporting the yoga community is what Alo Yoga is all about. And those who inspire yogis to deepen their practice hold a special place in our heart. The Alo Yoga Pro Program is our way of saying that we’re grateful for what you do.  Certified instructors who are actively teaching will be eligible to purchase Alo Yoga apparel at 30% off. To be considered, you must register an account and then fill out this form Alo Yoga Pro Link and agree to the terms.  Approval can take from 72hrs to 14 days. They will contact you via email to let you know if you have been approved.

This is for in store discount only of 15%.  Certified yoga, Pilates, fitness, dance and personal training instructors may be eligible for the Lululemon Research and Development Program discount, pending each store manager’s approval. To apply, bring your driver’s license and proof of certification (acceptable forms include a pay stub, training certificate or a business card). Once approved, your information will be filed in the store’s national database, so that you don’t have to prove eligibility each time you shop.

The KiraGrace Pro program is designed to connect fitness and yoga enthusiasts like you who embrace our core values promoting the beauty, strength and grace present in all women. Members of our KiraGrace Pro program will receive special pricing on all KiraGrace apparel and a direct line to us to share product feedback.  To apply to be a KiraGrace Pro, please fill out this Form. We also ask that you upload your teacher certificate OR provide a link to your studio's website. 

If you’re an active trainer, register an account at the website and then fill out the Online form, and once approved you will automatically receive the 40% off, free shipping and free returns in your shopping cart.  They say they will respond within 6 hours by email.

An instructor can apply via Online form for their Prana Influencer program.  Once approved you can get specialty pricing online or in their flagship stores as well as sneak peaks at upcoming designs.  

Other places that offer discounts to their members are AFAA, NASM and Zumba®️ Fitness.  You will need to log into your account and search for Fitness professional discounts or click on discounts on your earnings and perks tab on your home page.

This great list of fitness related discounts was compiled by Zumba®️ Fitness Instructor Megan Hernandez

Monday, February 25, 2019

#mondaymotivation: Finding YOUR Motivation

#mondaymotivation: Finding YOUR Motivation: Written By: Zumba® Fitness Instructor: Lizz Larrauri

XSport Woodbridge Zumba® Class
"Who inspires you?"  
"Who do you inspire?"--This is a common topic within ZIN™ members. 

"Where do you get your inspiration?"

"How do you continue to be motivated to teach class after class week after week?"

Sometimes it is hard, and sometimes there is no inspiration at all. Let me tell you, sometimes it becomes a job to "teach". You have to love what you do to continue. As with any job, there are days when things can go wrong. 

Believe it or not, so many things could go wrong in an hour of Zumba®!
  • The stereo may blow up
  • You may come to teach and there may be too much wax on the floor
  • Someone may fall during the third song on your playlist
  • A front row 'diva' may stand by your side and change your choreography
  •  A taller person mirrors you the whole class preventing students to be able to see you
  • The fire alarm may go off
  • You forget choreography
  • Your peeps hate the new choreography
  • Wardrobe malfunction, pants riding down, wrong shoes… or oh my God “You forgot your shoes”
  • And the list goes on and on and on.....
We have ALL been there! Sometimes when things go wrong it is inevitable that you may lose motivation from time to time. In an effort to find your motivation, you do what everyone advises...
  • Take Zumba® jam sessions
  • Visit other people's classes
  • Watch ZIN™ Volumes
  • Watch YouTube videos
  • Network within the Zumba® community
  • Buy new Zumba® clothes
  • Register for ZINCON™
Sometimes even these things may not work because motivation may not be nestled within these material things or by visiting other classes. To me, most of the time when I felt like quitting a class, I realized someone else was looking up to me or being inspired. We, as Zumba® instructors come in all shapes, ages and color. We are so lucky to be part of a fitness community that decided to break free from industry standards of what fitness should look like. 

It doesn’t matter how large is your class, where you live or where you are from...I am pretty sure you have inspired someone to keep dancing with you, and keep coming back to your class. Maybe one of your students discovers Zumba® can help with depression, or maybe they feel lonely and will see that Zumba® class is the place to meet new friends. Maybe someone will see that they could be like you, and one day become a Zumba® instructor who inspires

XSport Woodbridge Zumba® Class
I love seeing people of all ages from their 20’s to 70’s joining a regular Zumba® class. For me, that is my biggest motivation. There are no limits! Don’t forget the most important thing, it is not just about you, class is about your participants

Everyday is a new opportunity to learn something new about yourself, and your Zumba® participants during your Zumba® Class. Remember to find a Zumba® class near you by going to

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

A 6-Pack IS Nice….But Did you Know a Strong Core Has These Benefits Also?!?

According to “Readers Digest”, a strong core has amazing health benefits (as well as looking amazing)!!
Here Are a Few:

1. A strong core helps prevent injuries! It’s important 
to build core stability first, and then build core strength. You want to get the deeper muscles working first. When you’ve got a strong core, everything else will fit into place on top of it,  meaning your overall fitness will improve, making you less prone to injury down the road.

2. Protect your inner organs and central nervous system. Staying healthy also means protecting those vital systems below the surface. Your core is not only where your organs and central nervous system do their busy-work, it’s also where your body’s largest (and most important) veins and arteries are based. Keeping strong core muscles will help ensure everything stays protected as you move through your day.

3. Strengthen your core to back pain. Back pain is a common side effect of a weak core.  When our abdominals are weak, it’s often because our back muscles are overly strong. Building core strength will help bring balance to the front and back of your body. Sitting at a desk all day doesn’t help, either. Not being mindful of how we’re sitting, and not engaging our core, can lead to things like compressed discs in our spine.

4. Get a strong, confident posture! If your core is strong, you’ll be hard pressed not to carry yourself with confidence. A tall, upright posture exudes strength. It gives the impression that this person is in control of their life.

5. You’ll feel better! Not only will a strong, healthy body turn heads on the beach, you’ll feel great, too. Once you’ve developed your core stability, you can start working on the more superficial core muscles to build strength you’ll be able to see.
Here are three exercises that I recommend to get you started:

The key is to not waste your time and energy on ab workouts that aren’t effective. With the three core exercises above, that’s not a concern. The bicycle, the Russian twist, and the towel plank knee-in are fundamental moves that will immediately start helping you achieve and maintain that strong core you’ve always wanted.
Stay Fit, stay healthy, and stay with me! 
 Kia Kaha! Lisa 😊
Twitter: Fit4Urocks