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April 2017 Links I Love for Fitness Professionals

April Links I Love for Fitness Instructors

It’s that time again! Another month has come and gone, along with a lot of great fitness and health articles and studies. For me, April was a blur, between celebrating friends’ birthdays, picking up my wedding dress (5 months to go!) and keeping up at work. I’m really looking forward to May — lots of planned family and friend time, and I’m hoping for good, sunshine-y weather. Before we jump into May, I want to take a second to look back at the top articles in fitness and health, so that other fitness professionals, like yourself, can keep up with the latest trends and happenings.

If your month was anything like mine, it was quite the challenge to stay in the loop on everything that happened in the fitness industry in April. There were a few important studies you’ll want to brush up on and viral articles you’ll want to make sure you read. That way, you can come to your next group exercise class armed with the most up-to-date knowledge to better their experience.

Here’s a look at my favorite fitness and wellness articles from April that fitness professionals should read.

  1. One study found that high-intensity intervals were the best for making our cells regenerate, so on a cellular level, interval training helps us look and feel younger (reported by Inc. magazine). I tried to explain this to my spin class, and as soon as I mentioned “mitochondria” their eyes glazed over. So, if you do share this information in your class, be sure to keep it simple.
  2. The 5 Most Common Excuses Holding You Back by Susie Moore via Greatist. Yes, I’m obsessed with Susie Moore — if you ever catch me reading one of her articles, you will see me nodding along in agreement the whole time, eyes affixed to the screen. She speaks to my soul.
  3. 10 reasons why you should be stretching by Jessica Matthews via ACE Fitness. If you’re already a fitness professional, chances are you already know the benefits of stretching, so this is a great tool to share with your classes to encourage them to stick around and do stretches after exercise.
  4. How to do a bodyweight split squat via New York Times Well blog. I love the angles and color of this post. Great exercise to add to your next group exercise class, too.
  5. 3 Lessons About Mental Toughness You Can Learn From Yoda via Tor Constantino for Entrepreneur magazine. We all know participants show up to your group exercise classes so you can motivate them and get them to work harder than they would on their own. These mental toughness tips are great to try in your next class.
  6. If your talk doesn’t do these three things, don’t give it, via Neil Pasricha for Fast Company. While we all know how important it is to provide participants with a safe, effective workout, it’s also just as important to entertain and educate. We need to think of ourselves as not only lesson planners, but also public speakers and teachers.
  7. 5 must-do exercise to do if you want a stronger core, via Lee Boyce for Muscle & Strength. Crunches are a thing of the past, yet many participants will still show up expecting to do “abs” for the last 10 minutes of class. Here are some great core exercises to try that will get away from crunches and sit-ups.
  8. Why Vanessa Hudgens never wears a shirt to the gym via Haley Goldberg for Self.com. Whether you teach in just a sports bra or not, this is a trend that seems to be getting attention right now.

If you liked this roundup, you may also like the fitness and wellness articles from March and February. You can also check out the group exercise ideas page.

And, let’s connect on Twitter @GroupXMich!

(Image Source: Vanessa Hudgens’ Instagram/Self.com) 

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March 2017 Links I Love for Group Fitness Instructors

One of the group fitness instructors leading a class

March was a month to remember, with the SCW Fitness convention in Burlingame and family trips to San Francisco. Once again, it feels like we’re flying right into the next month. I’m pretty excited about April. This next month will kick off the six-month countdown to my wedding in October, and it’s the one-year anniversary of starting this fitness blog with you all, my fellow group fitness instructors!

Before we dive into April, I want to take a minute to share my favorite article links from the past month that group fitness instructors should check out. This is a round-up of the top fitness and health studies, tips, exercises and stories. For anyone that had a busy month, now is your chance to catch up on all the major news happenings in the industry. For example, a recent study was published revealing the benefits of strength training (see bullet 4).

Here are my favorite March 2017 links I love for group fitness instructors.

If you liked this roundup, you’ll also like my “Links I Love” roundup from February and January. You can also check out the group exercise ideas and tips page for more posts.

And, let’s connect on Twitter @GroupXMich.

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February 2017 Links I Love for Fitness Instructors

Shay Mitchell's Workout for Fitness Instructors

February was a fun month for me. I got to share resistance band workouts and how I became a spinning instructor with my favorite fitness instructors and enthusiasts (yes, that’s you :)). On a personal note, I got to go bridesmaids’ dress shopping with my gals and celebrate National Margarita Day/Presidents’ Day with friends. My wedding is this October, so buckle your seat belts because it’s going to be a wild ride until then, but I will continue to post most Mondays and Wednesdays in between planning.

I may have been busy this month, but that didn’t stop me from keeping up on the latest fitness tips and trends. I pulled together a list of my favorite articles for fitness instructors, so you can easily keep up on what’s happening in the health, wellness and exercise industry.

Here’s a roundup of 10 February articles that fitness instructors and enthusiasts should read:

  1. Shay Mitchell (or should I say SLAY Mitchell?) recently posted her workout on Instagram and it is straight fire. SELF broke down all the moves in the video here. Also, those braids?! #GOALS.
  2. How to pack on muscle with eccentric exercises — I love seeing articles that teach the body mechanics behind exercise.
  3. Refinery29’s hip dip plank exercise. I anticipate group fitness participants bringing their booty too high in the air for this one, so something you’ll want to monitor when you introduce in your next Group X class.
  4. I have yet to try an Orangetheory Fitness class, but this article points out all the reasons I want to go: “Orangetheory Fitness Wants to Shame Your Half-Assed Workouts Out of Existence”
  5. Why Shape Magazine’s fitness director Jaclyn Emerick wakes up at 5 a.m. everyday. Advice for anyone looking to become a morning person.
  6. Fun Lower-body exercises to add to your fitness routine for dynamic balance.
  7. On days where you need some serious #fitspo, check out these 28 black fitness pros you should be following on Instagram.
  8. 5 creative body-weight exercises to mix things up.
  9. My kind of Valentine’s Day love: why exercise is good for the heart.
  10. And, in case you missed it, my most popular blog post from last month was this Valentine’s Day spin playlist. I’ll tell you, it was a big hit with my spinning classes!

If you liked this list, you’ll also like my link roundups from January and December. You can also check out other group exercise ideas and tips here.

(Image Source: Byrdie)

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January 2017 Links I Love for Fitness Instructors

January links I love for fitness instructors

January marks a busy time for fitness instructors, with the New Year’s resolution gym-goers packing classes at all hours. It’s also a good time for group exercise instructors to add in new workout playlists and freshen up their routines, to add some new material for the new year. With so much going on, it’s hard to keep up with the latest trends and articles in the fitness industry.

From new exercise ideas to tips for maximizing workout efficiency, this month’s links list is jam-packed with new ideas to bring to your next Group X class. Here’s a look at my favorite fitness and wellness-themed articles from January to help my fellow fitness instructors stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the industry.

January links I love for fitness instructors:

  1. Even just a little bit of exercise will improve your mood.
  2. How to choose the right weights when strength training.
  3. For the first time since 2014, ACE Fitness as developed a new key policy position statement — the inactivity epidemic.
  4. How to maximize efficiency of workout time using creative exercise techniques.
  5. The only running playlist you need by Refinery29.
  6. The six-pack ab moves your trainer didn’t tell you about.
  7. 14 back and shoulder exercises for a strong upper body.
  8. “I’ve Helped Thousands Of People Get In Shape—This Is The Fastest Way To See Results”
  9. Ways to make your workout more effective.
  10. Men’s Journal’s “Getting Fit from Scratch” series has so many great workout ideas!
  11. How to turn exercise into a lifelong habit or “practice” like they do in yoga.
  12. How to be mindful at your desk.

If you liked this post, you’ll also like my fitness and wellness link roundups from this past December and November. You can also check out the group exercise ideas page for similar posts for fitness instructors.

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December Links I Love for Gym Instructors

December Links I Love for Gym Instructors

With holidays, school tests, end-of-year reports and New Year’s resolution prep all high priority in December, it’s safe to say gym instructors had a busy month. When life gets hectic, oftentimes we don’t get to spend the time we want catching up on industry news and trends. Yet, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings in the fitness industry to provide the best experience for folks coming to your group fitness classes.

Each month I pull together my favorite fitness articles from the month prior to help my fellow gym instructors quickly catch up on the news. So, grab that cup of coffee or protein shake, snuggle up on the couch and dive in to the top fitness and health articles from December.

  1. A new study suggests that a single vigorous workout may do little to counter the effects of prolonged sitting, while strolling around frequently in addition to exercising does seem to keep the harm at bay.
  2. Shoulders are sexy. And this workout series exclusively targets shoulders with unique moves you don’t see that often.
  3. New Year’s resolutions are bound to fail. Try this instead.
  4. A new study shows the best time to work out varies from person to person. I LOVE the message here: any workout is better than no workout. But, always take rest days for injury, fatigue, etc.
  5. Arianna Huffington, James Altucher, and Gabrielle Bernstein share life lessons they learned the hard way.
  6. 30 bizarre fitness classes that actually exist — for anyone looking to switch it up in the new year.
  7. ‘Twas the night before fitness: how to incorporate holiday spirit into your classes.
  8. The 10 best health stories of 2016, curated by Huffington Post.
  9. 6 trainers share the one workout move they can’t live without. Did yours make the list?
  10. This article on wellness trends to watch in 2017 shares fresh, interesting predictions for the fitness industry.

As December and 2016 come to a close, we see common themes popping up. Many gym instructors in the industry are talking about the dangers of sitting, the challenges of sticking with New Year’s resolutions and fun ways to mix up the same ‘ol fitness routine.

If you liked this post, you’ll also like my fitness article roundups from November and October.

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November Links I Love for Fitness Instructors

November Links I Love

As a huge fan of fitness, I stumble upon health, wellness and exercise links I love almost daily. Fascinating new research and tips are released each day, which is also a good reminder of how challenging it is to stay up-to-date on everything that’s happened in the past month.

I’ve done some of the hard work for you, and gathered my favorite links I love, including articles, news and tips from November into one handy roundup.

Before we dive in, I do want to give a special shout out to the Self magazine team. It was just announced that Condé Nast will be shuttering Self magazine. February will run the last official issue, while the Self.com team will continue to operate. Self magazine and the Self team have always been a source of inspiration for me. I wish the Self team well in this next chapter – both those that will continue working on the Self.com site and the ones moving on to the next adventure.

Self magazine cover photo

Now, here are the November links I love for fitness instructors:

  1. Confidence coach Susie Moore’s recent post on Greatist, “How Successful People Think (Hint: It’s Not All About Being Positive)”
  2. One woman’s experience working out for the first time. I’m disappointed with how the personal trainer acted in this situation. Good learning lesson that we don’t want our clients and participants feeling defeated on Day 1. Imagine how helpful it would be to have a trainer that motivated and encouraged her.
  3. What your doctor wish you knew about weight loss. It’s scary that doctors don’t have time to help patients plan out weight loss anymore. Here’s the advice they would share if they had the time.
  4. The power of giving thanks in group fitness from a global perspective. Tips for bringing thankfulness inside the Group X studio.
  5. 3 push-up modifications to try. If you’re looking for even more options, check out my push-up round up here.
  6. Are your ankles interfering with your squat form? Small, weird tips to remember when helping others with their squats.
  7. Strokes rates are rising in younger people. Reasons are unclear, although rise in obesity and diabetes likely play a role.
  8. Why do I gain weight when I exercise?
  9. Here’s why you shouldn’t take too much time off from the gym this holiday season.
  10. A good reminder that you can’t always trust what you find on the internet. A woman took “before and after” photos seconds apart.
  11. And finally, the best pump up songs to tackle any workout.

These articles provide great inspiration and research to share in your next Group X class. If you liked this list, you may also like my “Links I Love” roundup for October.

(Image source: Self magazine and Fitness magazine) 

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October Links I Love for Fitness Instructors

Fitness instructor's yoga pose

I’m sure many fitness instructors will agree that this year has flown by, but October went by even faster than usual — and filled with some extra special moments. Most memorable was celebrating Chris and my engagement with friends and family!

Chris and my engagement

As October comes to a close, I can’t help but continue to be excited as we enter my favorite time of year. Before we say hello to stuffing, rainy days and holiday parties, let’s take a look back at some of the most interesting, popular and relevant articles for fitness instructors that surfaced in October.

For those of you that also had a whirlwind October, this is a crash course in what experts in the fitness industry were talking about for the past 31 days. Here’s the roundup of articles to read from the last month.

  1. Refinery29’s new favorite running playlist with lots throwbacks and fresh, energizing songs.
  2. In defense of steady-state cardio — a good reminder in our HIIT-focused fitness industry.
  3. 10 spinning instructors with amazing style, because workout clothes are my favorite clothes.
  4. A new study shows that music helps you enjoy your workouts more, and work harder.
  5. 5 steps to helping clients feel better with exercise.
  6. CrossFit and traditional weightlifting produce different results to keep in mind when choosing a workout.
  7. The eight moves Kayla Itsines would put in a BBG butt workout.
  8. Yoga teachers are living the dream, but are they making a living?
  9. What not to do after a workout — good reminders to share during cool down.
  10. Here’s a super simple plank workout that my class loves via Women’s Health Magazine.

These articles are a great way for fitness instructors to stay up-to-date with the fitness industry in order to continue to offer great classes each and every day. If you enjoyed reading these links, you may also like the top links I loved from August.

(Image source: Well + Good) 

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August Links I Love for Fitness Instructors

One of the fitness instructors holding a water bottle

I’m sure fitness instructors and participants alike can agree that August flew by! It feels like I blinked and now we’re in September. When the month goes by so quickly, it’s hard to keep up with the constant flow of new topics and trends circulating the web. So, I’ve put together some of my favorite articles from August to help Group X instructors keep up with the latest and greatest in the fitness industry. That way, fitness instructors can modify their workout routines, playlists and cueing accordingly.

From analyzing the long-term effects of Olympic athletes’ training regimens to acknowledging that we don’t have to like all types of exercise, here’s a look at some of the top August articles for fitness instructors.

  1. An argument for why women should strength train, in addition to cardio.
  2. One personal trainer shares why it’s okay love fitness and hate running — a philosophy that personally hits close to home.
  3. Erin Bailey’s viral post speaking out against harassment that women face in the gym and beyond.
  4. A new study shows that intense exercise does not produce long-term damage to the heart, diverging from a previous study that shows short-term (and seemingly reparable!) damage immediately following a race.
  5. Why joining an expensive gym may be good motivation to work out.
  6. How fitness instructors and personal trainers can get clients hooked.
  7. The advice personal trainers always tell their clients.
  8. Chris Freytag’s Get Healthy U team compares prices at Trader Joe’s vs. Target.
  9. Women’s Health Fitness Director Jen Ator shares 10 single dumbbell ab exercises.

As you can see, August had some really fascinating articles for fitness instructors. Hopefully you found some interesting tidbit that you can share with your Group X classes, whether it’s a new exercise idea or a motivational cue.

If you’re looking for more fitness articles, check out my link roundups from July and June.

(Image Source: Refinery29)

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July Links I Love for Fitness Instructors

Fitness Instructors running on a city street

Fitness instructors need to stay up on the latest research and trending news happening each month. We are considered experts in our craft, and keeping up-to-date on trends comes with that responsibility. Plus, we can share new workouts, motivational cues and exercise research with the participants in our group fitness classes in order to keep them engaged, and ultimately coming back for more each week.

While articles crop up every day with new information, workouts and tricks to try, we need to sift through a lot of content to find the ones worth reading, especially in the fitness industry. To save you a bit of time, I’ve gone through and pulled some of my favorite articles from last month.

From advice for Group X participants to a new study about the effectiveness of lifting lighter weights, here are a few interesting articles from July worth the read.

  1. An answer to the age-old question: should you lift lighter or heavier weights? This one’s especially important for Group X classes with limited dumbbell options.
  2. 5 signs that a group fitness class is too difficult. Great information for participants, plus call-outs for fitness instructors to keep in mind during class.
  3. A new formula for determining how long you need to exercise to offset the perils of sitting at your desk all day.
  4. Tips for feeling more energized, broken down between morning, afternoon and evening advice.
  5. A fun plank variation that targets the obliques for fitness instructors to try in their next class.
  6. While women are hopping on the body positivity movement, men are getting left behind. Here’s a deep dive into how that’s hindering the fitness experience for men.
  7. Tony Robbins’ four tips for mental fitness, including ways to prime yourself for the day ahead.

If you enjoyed these articles, you’ll love my roundup of June articles for fitness instructors. Check them out here.