By definition, aerobic simply means with oxygen. Aerobic exercise is any type of exercise done for an extended period of time that uses the big muscles to raise the heart and breath rate to improve cardiovascular health. Running, walking and biking are all types of aerobic exercise.
Aerobic exercise classes also fall under aerobic, or cardio, workouts. They're set to rhythmic music and feature steps designed to get the heart pumping while making exercise fun. But, if you're a newbie, it might feel like the teacher is speaking an entirely different language. Learn some of the most basic step names before venturing into a class.
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The V-Step forms the letter V with the feet and can be done on the aerobic bench or on the floor. You do the movement in four counts.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Step forward with the right foot as wide as possible, then step forward and out with the left foot as wide as possible. Step right foot and left foot back to hip-distance, one count at a time. Repeat for the designated number of reps.
Do the turnstep on an aerobic bench, also in four counts. Start the move facing the step sideways.
HOW TO DO IT: Leading with the right foot, step up on right corner of the bench sideways. Then bring the left foot up onto the bench to the left corner as you turn. Step off the bench with the right foot, bring the left foot down next to the right foot. Repeat with the left side for as many reps as desired.
The Grapevine is a popular move in floor-based aerobics classes. It's performed in an eight-count pattern as you basically criss-cross step across the floor.
HOW TO DO IT: Start with your feet hip-distance apart. Step to the side with the right foot. Step the left foot behind and past the right foot, then step to the side with the right foot. Finally, bring the left foot next to the right foot. Then step to the side with the left foot, bring the right foot behind and past the left foot. Repeat, leading with the left foot and traveling to the left. You may see instructors add turns and bringing the knees up to make the move more challenging.
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The Charleston step is done in four counts, with or without a step bench. It's a fun way to incorporate a little light dance into your routine.
HOW TO DO IT: Step forward with the right foot, then step forward with the left foot. Step back with the left foot, then step back with the right foot and lunge backward, leading with the right foot. A knee up or kick may be added to change the lead foot and switch to the other side.