Five Transition Tactics for Group Fitness Instructors

Group fitness classes typically move at a brisk pace. Organizing thoughts, consolidating words and finding a cuing hierarchy can be a challenge for new and even seasoned instructors. One might think memorizing choreography is the biggest hurdle, but when it comes to getting in front of a group and teaching, the biggest obstacle are the words chosen to maintain class flow.

Here are five transition tactics to get you over the hurdle.


TEACHING TACTIC 1: ADVERTISE 

Give a brief explanation or preview of your next move while still doing your current one. 

For example, if you are teaching a bicep curl and you'd like to eventually add on a squat, let your class know that's where they're headed. "The elbows are bending and in a moment we are going to add in a bend in the legs". It's a great way to prepare the mind to connect with the body for what's next! Watch below for an example:

[TEACHING TIP]
 ADVERTISING CAN BE THROUGH WORDS AND/OR PHYSICAL DEMONSTRATION.

TEACHING TACTIC 2: REPEAT YOURSELF 

Extend your leg, extend your leg, EXTEND YOUR LEG! 

Different clients respond to different ways of expressing the same command. Rather than being redundant, describe "extend" differently: lengthen, keep the knee straight, stretch behind the knee, squeeze the top of your thigh and so on.

All those commands mean the same thing but resonate differently with each client. Watch this example below to hear how Stephanie repeats the command "full range lunge" without sounding redundant.

[Teaching Tip]
Never think the clients "don't understand" what you're saying. Instead think, how can I be saying this differently to get my clients where they need to be.



TEACHING TACTIC 3: FORGET THE NUMBER ONE

Does your count down sound something like "4, 3, 2, 1"?  

We all know after 2 comes 1. Rather than stating the obvious, use this as a time to cue your class on their next move or body position: "4,3,2 hold it low" or "4,3,2, we pulse". Watch this clip for a great example on avoiding the number one.

[TEACHING TIP]
Match your verbal cuing to the beat of the music; especially when replacing "1" with an action. 

TEACHING TACTIC 4: KeeP MOVING 

Group fitness classes are typically quick paced, and while proper form is important, our first order of command is to set up and get moving. 

Unless you’re teaching with heavy weights; one or two imperfect reps won't throw out your back. Don't wait for everyone in class to get into position before you start moving; they'll catch up with you eventually. Watch an example of keeping class moving. 

[Teaching Tip]
 Practice your cuing hierarchy. the order of importance on what to say and when to say it to keep class moving, but also safe and effective. 

TEACHING TACTIC 5: AVOID FILLERS 

There's a time to be descriptive and there's a time to be direct. 

During your set up or transition we call for the direct approach.  Avoid the verbal fillers such as "let's move on to a squat" or "now we're going to start bending the legs".

Instead use a direct ACTION "bend the legs", "lift the heels" or "press your palms". Watch this clip below for example of how to do this. 

[TEACHING TIP]
 Use three commands or less to get you where you need to go.

For more information on cue-ing best practices and group fitness instructor tips, check out Barre Intensity!

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