Group exercise classes are a great way to get in your daily workout, and there are plenty of options to choose from. Plus, each instructor brings their own style and personality to the classes they teach with new workouts every time you attend. However, without the one-on-one attention of a trainer, there’s a chance you’re making one of the following exercise class mistakes.
5 Exercise Class Mistakes & How to Correct Them
1. Not Stretching Before Class
One of the most common exercise class mistakes is not stretching before the class begins. All group exercise classes have a warm-up component built-in. However, it’s still extremely important to practice dynamic stretching in order to warm up your body, get your blood flowing, and lower your risk of injury. Muscle injuries can take a while to recover from, which means you’ll be sidelined and lose all the progress you worked so hard to achieve!
2. Insufficient Hydration
When you work hard in group exercise classes, your body will regulate its temperature through sweating. You need to replace those fluids lost through sweat with either water or a sports drink. Instructors will usually give you opportunities throughout class to grab a drink of water, so always make sure you come prepared and bring a water bottle along. All 5 Elite locations have contactless water dispensers.
In addition to hydrating during class, it’s also important to drink water before and after class. You should drink water 2-3 hours prior to allow your body to absorb it in your system. After your workout is over, you should drink 20-24 fluid ounces per pound of weight you lost.
You can read more about exercise hydration in our guide.
3. Improper Form
Ever notice that exercise studios have walls of mirrors? No, they’re not there so you can admire yourself. They’re there so you can see how your form looks. Given the group setting, an instructor isn’t always able to watch individuals in their class and point out incorrect form. It’s important that you touch base with them before or after class if you have any doubts about how you’re performing the exercises. For general exercise help, you can always consult one of our personal trainers as well.
4. Trying to Keep Up with Those Around You
Group exercise classes can definitely be intimidating for beginners. Many participants are “regulars” and have built up their fitness levels over time. For a beginner, it can be easy to want to keep up with the rest of the group, even though your body is not trained to do so. You will quickly tire yourself out or cause an injury if you are not careful.
When you enter a class for the first time, introduce yourself to the instructor and mention that you are new to the class. They will provide tips and suggestions to help you get started and ultimately get the most out of your workout. Over time, you will be able to progress and challenge your body with a greater range of motion, more weights, or more advanced poses.
Just know that most exercises can be modified to suit the fitness level of each participant. You don’t need to match everyone else around you, because everyone is at a different place in their fitness journey.
5. Overlooking Recovery
The recovery phase is actually where your muscles repair themselves. When you exercise your muscles, you’re doing small damage to the muscle fibers known as microtrauma. The soreness you feel afterward is the muscle’s adaptation in order to prevent further damage.
It’s a great habit to get into if you take multiple exercise classes in a week. However, you need to build in rest and recovery days in your schedule to allow your muscles to heal. Overtraining adversely affects your performance and can lead to fitness burnout or injury. If you want to attend exercise classes multiple days in a row, we suggest splitting up your workouts with classes that focus on different muscle groups. This way, you build in “off days” for the ones you’re not focusing on.
Also, don’t forget to grab a post-workout snack after each class. You should focus on foods that contain a mix of lean protein and complex carbohydrates. Examples include:
- Pita with veggies and hummus
- Cottage cheese and fruit
- 1 slice whole-wheat toast with peanut butter and sliced banana
- Veggie omelet with avocado and 1/2 cup roasted potatoes
- Turkey sandwich on whole wheat
Click here for our group exercise class schedule. All classes currently require advanced registration through the online Member Portal.