Teaching your first Group X class can be a nerve-wracking experience. There are plenty of other things to worry about, without having to stress over what to wear during that first class as the fitness instructor. As someone who has been teaching for more than half a decade, I’ve learned a few fitness fashion faux paus the hard way. Most embarrassingly, I’ve had someone come up to me after class to tell me my workout pants were see-through. Rather than let you experience these mortifying moments on your own, I’ve put together the following tips to help you get through your first, and every, group fitness class sans wardrobe malfunctions.
Here’s what you should NOT wear to your first Group X class as the instructor.
It’s always a good idea to wear workout gear at least once before teaching in it. We’ve all had that shirt that ends up being too low or the pants that sag with every squat. It’s best to realize those issues when you don’t have a roomful of people staring at you. Especially for first-time instructors, pick clothes that you know you’ll be comfortable in and won’t have to play with the whole time.
Thin or loose pants
You’ll want shorts, capri pants or regular pants that fit well. That means they don’t pull down when you move around. Also, your pants shouldn’t be so thin that they’re see through when you’re doing squats or lower body stretches. I love Victoria’s Secret new sports capris. They’re really thick, and the pair I own haven’t stretched out in the wash after months of use.
Form-fitting clothes are important, so that participants can see your form while you’re demonstrating exercises. Make sure your clothes are decently-tight, so that other folks are able to tell what you’re doing with each activity. Most exercise clothes will fit well, but leave those baggy cotton T-shirts at home. I like Under Armour’s tanks tops because they are tight without the squeeze.
Spaghetti straps and/or just a sports bra
I’ve heard horror stories of fitness instructors or participants that get a rash or bacterial infection from laying directly on the mats or dirty benches. To prevent that, you’ll want to wear a shirt with sleeves. Of course, this will depend on what class you’re teaching. For example, wearing sleeves won’t make much of a difference during a spin class. If you are set on rocking the sports bra or have a favorite tank top you aren’t ready to part with, make sure you put a clean towel down before you lay on the mat, floor, etc.
I have one short sleeve shirt that’s been in my closet for years, and isn’t sold anymore. The other short sleeve shirts I’ve purchased recently have been disappointing. One that’s on my wish list is the Lululemon Swiftly Tech Short Sleeve.
Hair that will interfere with the headset
Finally, make sure your hair will be comfortable when you put the headset on. My go-to options are a medium to high-pony or a French braid. These hairstyles will let the headset rest between your ears and on the very back of your scalp.
With the above tips, you’ll be able to feel comfortable about your clothes, so you can focus on teaching a stellar class. And, if you look good, you feel good!
For more Group X advice, check out the group exercise ideas and tips page.
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