Over the past twenty years, group exercise has evolved intensely. What began as merely groups of people enjoying the same activity has become structured and formalized into an entire facet of exercise.
Yoga, spinning, core classes, lifting, tai chi, and team sports are all within the realm of group exercise. Benefits like comradery, motivation, and socialization are among the many reasons that so many people enjoy being active in a group. Being able to form relationships with people outside of other social circles is just one more outlet for human interaction.
Group exercise benefits people of all ages. Kids learn rules of socialization while also internalizing the structure of a class. Working adults can enjoy a recreational setting and absorb the physical benefits of movement at the same time. Elderly people can adopt a concrete commitment into their routine and use it to meet other people with similar lives. Regardless of the type, group exercise has become a staple in American culture. Here are some of the most popular ways to exercise with your compatriots!
Yoga classes are held at all different venues, including gyms, studios and community functions. Although a lot of yoga is about holding space inside one individual to connect mind and body, there is a solidarity that develops between yogis and yoginis who practice together. Yoga is about exploring the body, which means that people need to trust each other enough to fall, wobble and correct pose form in front of one another. Before and after classes, there is almost always time to chat and catch each other up on life happenings. Certain people gravitate toward different kinds of yoga classes, whether they’re restorative, gentle, moderate, advanced, heated or vinyasa flow styles.
Spin classes are often held at different gyms. Stationary bikes are set up in rows to accommodate anywhere from ten to fifty people at a time. Class structure generally depends on a particular instructor rather than a leveled class, due to the nature of being able to adjust individual resistance on a spin bike. For this reason, people of many different fitness levels and backgrounds can exercise in the same space during the same class.
Again, people do not normally socialize during the actual class, but time before and after allows for checking in with friends and peers. Often, people gravitate toward a particular instructor’s time slot(s) because they appreciate his or her style of teaching. For this reason, similar groups of people end up taking the same classes and become familiar with one another over time.
Lots of gyms and fitness centers offer group classes focused on the core of the body, both front and back. Abdominal and back muscles support all of the movement that happens in a human body over the course of a day. Thus, dedicating a forty five minute or hour long class to them is completely reasonable. People tend to gravitate toward these types of classes in springtime, when thoughts of vacations and summertime start approaching. People often commiserate over excess weight on their bodies and band together to motivate each other to show up to classes in order to achieve personal goals. These classes are often made up of different core exercises in sets. For instance, a trainer may demonstrate an exercise and ask everyone to do a certain number of repetitions, or to repeat it for a certain amount of time.
Weight lifting classes often dedicate focus to a particular group or groups of muscles at a time. For instance, one day may focus on muscles of the back, while another day might be dedicated to legs or chest. Often, the same people show up at the same time in order to complete a whole body routine throughout the week. For this reason, familiar faces end up getting to know each other. A trainer is able to develop rapport with a particular group of people so that relationships form over time. As muscle strength develops, individuals are able to increase weight on particular exercises without affecting the rest of the group.
The information contained in this article should not be used to replace the advice, care, diagnosis or treatment from a medical doctor, certified personal trainer, therapist, dietitian, or nutritionist.