Updated: Aug 3
Remote working, homeschooling and gym lockdowns have forced us all to rethink how we stay active and fit. With department stores and online retailers sporting empty shelves where gym equipment was once housed, it's given us all an opportunity to use technology more frequently to exercise whilst being in our own environment.
If you're considering joining a virtual group fitness session for the first time, here are our top 11 tips to make sure you stay safe and get the most out of your workout in your own environment.
Find an adequate and safe space to workout
Working out at home can have its challenges. A lounge room can be the home office by day and family gathering around the TV by night. Find a space in your home whereby you have at least 4sqm of uncluttered floor to freely move.
A spare room, backyard or the garage are good places to set up. This makes sure you are not in a high traffic area and eliminating as many distractions as you can while you workout.
One way to check your space is lay on your back with arms and legs stretched top to bottom and pivot around on the floor, making sure the space is obstacle free.
Settle your children or family in with an activity to occupy themselves for the duration of the class.
There have been one too many embarrassing moments whereby my own children have interrupted a class under my instruction, I learnt this lesson the hard way. I found it's a new adjustment for everyone and not just the people involved. Over time however my kids have become used to the video workouts in our home, they either get involved or keep themselves occupied.
Keeping them occupied with an activity and rewarding them for good behaviour after the class can certainly help.
Warm up and cool down
Your instructor will run through a brief warm up targeting specific areas of the body which will be focused on during the workout. It's advisable however to be ready a few minutes earlier than the scheduled time to run through a basic all over body warm up to promote blood flow and loosen the body.
Be sure to spend some time after the class to do some static stretching which will help aid in recovery.
Tell your instructor of any issues or injuries prior to starting
You should have completed a pre exercise screening assessment prior to starting any training with us, however on occasions injuries and niggles can pop up. Be sure to let your instructor know of anything that would inhibit your ability to train.
Just like you are attending a gym class with friends, attending a virtual group class is really no different, apart from seeing and hearing everyone on your device instead of on the gym floor. Use the first minute or so to meet and greet everyone and If you're a first timer, speak and say hi. Regular attendees would be more than happy to have a brief chat to make you feel welcome.
It's a judgement free environment
All gym environments should be judgement free, however you should feel very comfortable attending a virtual class. Virtual group fitness is the perfect way for someone to exercise under instruction in a live environment, without feeling intimidated or uncomfortable in a gym environment.
Although we would prefer to see and hear you sweat knowing you're doing the work, you also have the option to turn your video and audio off during the workout, so you can follow the instructions and technique of your coach without other's looking on.
Wear comfortable clothes
There are many different group workouts available from HIIT, Strength, Flexibility and Conditioning style sessions. Some demand ultimate flexibility while others pump you up to sweat. It's important to wear clothing suited to the movements and exercise. Follow the basic rule of what you would wear in the gym and you should be fine! As you are at home, if you choose to stay in ugg boots and track dacks, we won't judge!
Have your technology ready and eliminate distractions
Half way through the workout and your teenage son repeatedly texts asking what's for dinner, or your phone conveniently goes flat, no one wants that! Consider diverting your calls or enabling do not disturb. Online video sharing apps tend to go through battery life pretty quick, so make sure there's enough charge in the battery before the workout.
Take note of the platform your instructor uses and download the app ahead of time. At Fit Tribe Oz we use Google Meet and Zoom, both available in the Apple store and Google Play.
Get your equipment ready
Most of our workouts are based on a HIIT methodology using body weight (High Intensity Interval Training). This type of training is perfect for weight loss, toning and strength building all in one. Some exercises will call for weight to be added for resistance.
Our recommendations for a virtual workout are:
Gym or yoga mat
Have a 5kg to 10kg weight handy (not essential) if you want to bring some added intensity and resistance to the workout
Complete a pre exercise screening form
Virtual workouts in your environment under instruction are treated no different than working out in a gym, so it is important to complete and sign a screening form. This ensures your instructor is across any conditions or injuries you may have to make sure you are safe doing the exercises.
Tell your friends!
Workouts are more fun with friends right? Of course they are! Training with friends is proven to keep you on track and a little competition between friends is a fun way to keep motivated. Invite your friends over for dinner, with a cheeky virtual workout beforehand. Our class prices are based per household/family, so the more the merrier!
During the months of June, July and August 2020, our Virtual HIIT class is free for everyone! use the code 'FreeVirtual' when booking your session. Book your session here