Stay on top of your barre teaching game by understanding the five categories of cueing. These are categories we review during a Barre Intensity instructor training and require our barre certified instructors to incorporate. As trained barre instructors, we’re responsible for leading safe, effective and fun classes and the words we say will help us get there.
In our Barre Intensity Instructor Training & Certification weekends, many of our barre trainees express: "I don't know how to organize my thoughts.", “I don’t know what to say for a transition.” and ask “What's the most important?”. We’d like to give you five barre training tips to help you strengthen those verbal transitions.
In no particular order here is what we like to teach in our Barre Intensity Instructor Training & Certification weekends.
An abdominal crunch seems easy enough. You lift and you lower, engage your core and keep space between your chin and your chest. What more can there be right??? There's more, a lot more in fact and we're sharing our five cues from head to toe (really just to the low back) to deepen the crunch. The next time you're teaching your barre class, give a few if not all of these a try. If you're not yet teaching barre but would like to, check out our online barre instructor training and certification program.
Regardless of your fitness experience, completing your barre certification and teaching a barre class can feel like a daunting task. Choreography, alignment, beat matching, modifications, and motivation - so much to remember and cover in an hour. But if we can offer one piece of choreography advice in our years of experience helping others through their barre training, it's that less truly is more.
The squat. One of the most standard fitness exercises. When executed properly it effectively works muscles all throughout the front and back of the lower body. As fitness instructors, we cannot take for granted that everyone in our classes knows how to squat. I was at the gym this morning, not teaching, just working out. I noticed a man "squatting" while being lead by a personal trainer in a small group fitness setting. The man was doing EXACTLY what I tell all of my trainees in a Barre Intensity Barre Certification not to do; he was moving from the knees without recruitment of the hips.
Ah transitions. The skill that most class participants don't realize you have but is necessary in order for them to consider you to be one of the best. The two biggest challenges our Barre Intensity instructor trainees share with us in regards to teaching are simply speaking the words, which we address in our 5 Tips for Effective Cuing post, and transitioning from one move to the next. Begin incorporating our three transition tactics immediately and see what kind of impacts it makes on your class.
I was once told if you've been doing the same thing for more than six months without feeling uncomfortable at least once, it's time to bring on a new challenge. I speak with new barre instructors all the time about their teaching jitters. They often ask "when does this feeling go away"? That nervous sensation lessons overtime, you won't always feel a knot in the pit of your stomach, but it should never go away forever. Once in a while, stepping outside of your comfort zone is a good thing, and even after 10 years of teaching, I still get the barre instructor jitters.
During each class, barre instructors are tasked with remembering choreography, sticking to the beat of the music, seamlessly flowing from one move to the next, cuing the body for safety and effectiveness and doing all of this while making the class FUN. There are many ways to make a fitness class enjoyable, but today we're focusing on the teaching voice. The words we say and how we say them have an impact on the class we teach. Here are 3 ways to make your barre class more exciting by ramping up your teaching voice.
Creating your own class choreography has it positives and negatives. The plus is you have the ability to be YOU and tailor class to your clients. The negative for some is wondering where to begin. Each barre instructor has their own formula for crafting their barre class and it often adjusts with experience - no, it won't always take you 2 hours to prep. Here's our Barre Intensity barre instructor training blueprint for putting together your class choreography.
As a barre instructor, there are many factors that can make or break your barre class, but at the top of the list are the words you say to keep your class flowing, educational, impactful and fun. We're sharing with you a bit of what we teach during our barre certification program, shhhhh don't tell, as we review our 5 step verbal cuing guide. Start applying these tips NOW to take your barre classes up a notch.
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.