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How to Teach an Aerobics Class

author image Kay Ireland
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.
How to Teach an Aerobics Class
Be clear in your instructions to avoid student injury.

To teach an aerobics class, you have to have the perfect balance of skill, energy and enthusiasm to keep your students going for the length of the class. While the proper certification can certainly help you learn the skill portion of the equation, choosing the right music, cuing your moves and keeping energy levels high is an almost-inherent part of instructing. Plan your classes well in advance and spend time practicing so you can be a professional, prepared and effective aerobics teacher.

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Step 1

Obtain your certification for teaching aerobics. A mild interest in helping others stay fit is not sufficient for you to teach a class. Certification through the American Council on Exercise ensures that you've taken the classes, read the materials and passed the exams necessary for you to lead an aerobics class safely. By becoming an ACE-certified Group Fitness Professional, you can then choose a specialty type of aerobics--whether it's dance, step aerobics, kick boxing or another specialty.

Step 2

Find a location for your class. Health clubs and gyms usually offer group aerobics classes, and you can inquire about potential space on the schedule. You can also instruct privately, in your home or in students' homes, as long as you have enough space to move around safely. When you find a location, take note of the size of the room and the amount of students you'll typically have so you can plan your routines accordingly.

Step 3

Plan your class according to the ages and fitness levels of those that will be attending. For instance, if a gym has hired you to teach aerobics to seniors, you'll want to plan a lower-impact routine than you would for dancers. It may help to write down the various moves that you want to incorporate into your routine, and plan your time accordingly. When you teach your class, keep your "cheat sheet" nearby while transitioning to different exercises.

Step 4

Download upbeat music that corresponds to the various stretches and moves that you'll be doing throughout your class. The Sheer Balance fitness website points out that your moves should match your music, which may mean downloading various types of music. You'll want high energy pieces of 150 beats per minute or above for higher energy moves, while slower pieces are best for muscle toning and stretching.

Step 5

Stay upbeat and enthusiastic when it comes time to teach your class. Aerobics instructors can sometimes have a difficult job. You'll be yelling over loud music and keeping your energy high while leading others to do the same. Cue your exercises well in advance by explaining the move you'll be trying next to make the transition to new moves seamless for a smoother class, recommends the Vanderbilt University Student Recreation Center. Offer motivational cues and safety cues throughout the class as well.

Step 6

Ask for feedback from your students when the class is over. While it may hurt your self-esteem as an instructor to hear that you moved too quickly, didn't cue well or needed better music, student feedback is the only way that you'll know what to improve in the future.

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