As a group fitness instructor there are many things going through our head when preparing to teach our next class. What songs should be on the playlist, what new pieces of choreography can be incorporated, will a prop be used, is there a client coming to class that despises a move planned (you know because they stop moving, give you dirty looks, or flat out tell you)? One important item we might tend to overlook is our transitions. How do we flow from one move to the next.
For new instructors out of their barre certification, know that transitions are important, but don’t expect to perfect them just yet. It’s one of many skills of a group fitness instructor and not usually the first one on the list to be mastered. Truthfully, we’re not certain transitions are every fully mastered. If you have been teaching consistently for more than six months and have never thought about your transitions between each and every single move you execute, now is the time.
• • • WHY this matters • • •
It keeps your clients mentally engaged.
Providing mini breaks in between to change the position of the body, switch props, towel off, or grab some water is giving clients permission to talk to their friends, check their phones, and momentarily think about something else in their life. Do not give them that opportunity to go there.
You will naturally add layers of intensity.
Of course we're touching on intensity... it's at the core of our barre instructor training. Muscles are engaged longer, maxed out, worked to fatigue. Through continuous movement you casually add in a cardio element without high impact movements. Try moving for 55 minutes without a break and see how elevated your heart rate gets.
Transitions add creativity.
Even the most basic moves can become exciting if you thread them together. Think of how you take your class working side profile. Do you just simply cue to turn around and face the other side or do you transition through a series or two facing the barre before making the switch? What about moving from the barre to the floor? The most direct way would be to step away from the barre and sit on your mat. The creative way is possibly working through a stretch eventually ending up seated.
Your class will fly by.
Have you ever worked a slow paced job where minutes felt like hours? That’s exactly how we feel about a class with no transitions. When you are constantly on the move, with no time to take your mind anywhere else other than the task at hand, your hours feel like minutes.
You will be a better barre instructor.
It’s just a fact, take our word for it. Your clients may not know the exact reason why all of a sudden you went from amazing to kick ass but you will know.