by Lisa Bruno
It’s like your first day of school all over again! You are walking into a room where you do not know anyone, or what to expect from the professor. Except this time, you are potentially dressed in spandex, carrying a water bottle, and nervous with anticipation of getting your butt kicked in your first fitness class.
Whether you are walking into a spin, toning, barre, or weight training class, being a newbie is never easy. Our studios are founded on the belief that varying up your classes and workouts will only better your physical fitness. However, that means you need to be ready to try new things and be open minded.
We’ve got a foolproof way to walk into three totally different types of classes and look like a professional, or at least not completely lost! You can trial out all these tips at either of our studios on Willow Avenue or River Street. We host not just Ride classes, our version of Spin, but we also have a variety of toning, barre, and dance-based classes.
Your First Spin Class
1) Adjusting Your Seat Height
Stand next to your bike with your feet flat on the floor. The seat should be set so that it comes up against your hipbone. Once you put your feet on the pedals or clip in, bring your foot flat and to the six o’clock position (leg straight down). You should have a very slight bend in your knee, then you know you’re at the right height.
2) Handlebar Distance
After you adjust your seat, align your handlebars with the height of your seat. Make sure you do not feel crunched up.
3) Clipping In
First, make sure the pedal is flat and the correct side is up. Slide the lip of the cleat down into the pedal and then press down through your heel — you should hear a click. Double check to make sure your shoes are aligned forward, they feel steady and solid, and aren’t sliding around. This will limit the chance you slip out while riding out of the saddle.
Ready to Tone it Up and Do Some Weight Training
1) Have Choices
Choose two varying weights, a low and a challenging weight. This will allow you to stay with an exercise throughout the duration of time, even if the weight gets a little heavy, just drop down to the lower weight. This is also an opportunity to challenge yourself where you see fit. You are in control of your workout, so you’ll get as much out of it as you put into it.
2) Whatever you do on one side, do on the other side
Going back to the above tip, if you drop your weight down on one side, make sure you do it for the other side. Meaning if you have an exercise where you are only working your right side, and you drop the weight to 5-lbs, when you transition to the left side, don’t pick up an 8-lb weight, go with the 5-lbs again, to keep your muscles balanced.
3) Listen to your body
Combining all those tips above, the most important thing to do in a toning/weight training class is to listen to your body. It is important with any type of workout, but crucial for weight training. Your mind and your body need to work simultaneously together. If one is confused
Beginner at the Barre
1) What the “Tuck”
The “tuck” is one of the key concepts of barre. It is a pelvic tilt, essentially you tilt your pelvis forward, draw your abdominals in, and your lower back tucks under. To make sure you are doing this properly, place your thumb on your rib cage and your pointer finger on your hip bone, you should feel the distance between the two shorten. This is an important move because it’s what protects your lower back throughout the exercises.
2) Embrace the Shake
Because of all the small muscle movements, you may experience shaking in certain positions. But this is a good thing, do not feel embarrassed, it simply means you are doing the exercise appropriately, targeting the right muscles, so push through it!
3) Dress appropriately.
When you look good, you workout good! Wear leggings or yoga pants and a tight tank top. Not only will this allow you to move around with ease, it’ll also keep your muscles warm, allowing you to sweat more and have slightly more flexibility with warmer muscles. You will not be wearing sneakers, so having some socks with grips on the bottom is ideal to avoid sliding and promote circulation.
Now that you feel motivated and educated to try a new class, get started! Visit workitoutgym.com to get an Unlimited Week for $39 – our special new client offer – so you can sample a little bit of everything!
Lisa Bruno is the co-founder and director of business development at Work it Out Fitness Studios<http://www.workitoutgym.com> in Hoboken. Bruno is an avid fitness and nutrition enthusiast (and has been since a very young age). She holds a bachelor’s degree in Food & Nutrition and is currently pursuing her certification as a Registered Dietitian.