Is group exercise really for someone like you? Yes, it most certainly is.
Group exercise isn’t just for other people. It’s for everybody – and that includes you. If you’ve never tried a group exercise class before, it’s not unusual to be more than a little daunted by the prospect. People can be nervous for all sorts of reasons – sometimes they feel like the class will be too tough for them, or that they’ll be embarrassed working up a sweat in front of others, or that the instructor will be an unforgiving drill sergeant determined to make an example out of the newbie struggling away at the back.
The truth is that we all feel this sort of apprehension whenever we embark on something new. But the challenge that the group fitness industry faces is in finding ways and means to help people overcome their natural apprehensions that prevent far too many from ever joining a class in the first place.
Group exercise classes are one of the most common entry points for beginners into the world of fitness. And this is why it’s so important that group exercise instructors ensure that their classes are as welcoming and inclusive as possible – they need to cater for all.
In an effort to attract more participants, it’s not uncommon for instructors to try and make their classes harder than anyone else’s on the schedule. And while this may indeed be a good way to appeal to the hardcore of the group, it’s equally as likely to turn the novice off – not to mention heighten the risk of them injuring themselves.
The best way to encourage more people to get involved with group exercise is to make classes accessible to individuals of all skill levels. And that, indeed, chimes precisely with our number one mission here at EMD UK – to increase participation in group exercise by supporting teachers and organisations to deliver excellence.
We want more people like you joining in with group exercise opportunities wherever you are, no matter your level of experience, and especially if you’re currently inactive or have never had a go before. Why? Because group exercise is one of the best ways to start enjoying a healthier lifestyle, and it’s a whole lot of fun as well.
As the national governing body (NGB) for group exercise, our work here at EMD UK is focused on supporting instructors – through unifying, co-operating and collaborating with industry bodies – to achieve a healthier nation through exercise. We exist to help them help more people like you feel comfortable about joining in.
Take a look at some of the projects we’ve been working on.
FunkFit UK is the brand new dance fitness class for those who love to groove. Created by JP Omari, FunkFit UK is designed for all ages and abilities (the oldest FunkFitter is an incredible 84 years old!), and will help you have fun and get fit while dancing to Motown, funk, soul and disco classics. All your favourite songs that you grew up listening and bopping to will have you singing along while you give your whole body a really fun workout.
What’s so great and inclusive about the class is the fact that there are no choreographies to learn – you just follow the teacher at the front.
FunkFit UK is currently holding classes in Brighton and Hove only – but with the help of EMD UK, they could be coming to a place near you very soon indeed.
FunkFit creator JP Omari has recently taken advantage EMD UK’s Product Development service, through which a full instructor training programme has been developed. What this means is that more and more group exercise instructors up and down the country will be able to start leading FunkFit dance classes in their areas, and we have no doubt that it won’t be long before this brilliantly accessible class will be taking the nation by storm.
Seated SOSA Dance Fitness
Aside from nervousness, there are sometimes physical reasons that leave some people feeling as if they are unable to take part in group exercise.
People recovering from injury or surgery, people with disabilities or people in wheelchairs can too often feel as if dance fitness classes surely can’t be for them.
And this is why it’s time to raise awareness about seated exercise – such as the Seated SOSA class that’s now being provided by EMD UK Member Organisation SOSA Dance Fitness.
SOSA stands for Solo Salsa – meaning that no one needs a dance partner to take part. Indeed, to this end, striving for inclusivity is always what SOSA has been about. Founded in 2015 by acclaimed international dance teacher Katy Barrow, SOSA was created to bring salsa – as well as Latin, ballroom, and other international dance styles – to thousands of women who love to dance, but perhaps don’t have a dance partner or the confidence to go for it on their own.
And now the organisation is bringing its fantastic group exercise classes to even more people with Seated SOSA Dance Fitness. The programme has been developed so that everybody can take part, and includes routines that are absolutely adaptable for all ages and degrees of ability and health conditions. In fact, Seated SOSA is suitable for seniors, exercise referrals and disabled participants, making it the shining beacon of inclusivity that group fitness is all about.
Group Exercise Is for Everyone
Group exercise really is for everybody. Here at EMD UK, it’s our mission to realise a healthier nation through greater participation in group exercise, and that means working hard to break down the barriers that prevent far too many people from joining in. By collaborating with industry bodies and organisations like FunkFit UK and SOSA Dance Fitness, EMD UK is making sure that the industry is working closely together as a whole to bring group exercise to more people around the country.