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Put some fun in your group workouts - Blog.

The latest news, videos and workouts from the Escape Fitness Team.

Put some fun in your group workouts

Lets face it workouts can be tough! So why not make them fun for your members? Simple warmups based around old school games of tig (space permitting) can get the heart rate up and take us back to those fun playground games.

These simple games got us running around after a few hours in the class room, so why not use them when you’ve been sat in your office or the car all day?

putting fun into group workouts

Dan Cumberworth, strength and conditioning coach and trainer at Escape’s gym, has been using this type of training with both his one-to-one clients and in group sessions for years. 

He outlines why he loves to introduce members to fitness experiences that take them back to their childhoods, and why personal trainers and gyms should take note and follow suit.

Over to Dan…

The fitness industry is very much like the fashion industry. Every couple of months we can see overriding trends come and go. Years later these show their faces again and are embraced by fitness facilities and consumers. The world of workouts is a constant revolving and changing environment.

We’ve seen it time after time with things like HIIT (high intensity interval training), bootcamps, kettlebell training and CrossFit just to name a few. These are the ‘buzz’ of the fitness industry and, because everyone is doing it, if you’re not seen to be doing it too you’re perceived as being ‘behind the times’.

Now something that is less well-known is gaining momentum. This is the use of ‘PLAY’ in the gym. This largely reflects how we may have moved in our younger years, doing gymnastics, crawling and playing.

introducing calisthenics and movement play into workouts

More people are introducing calisthenics and movement play into their workouts. These may be inspired by people like Frank Medrano and Ido Portal. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to be behind the scenes to see elite athletes training, play is also used in a variety of ways to get the best out of them.

I have now been using the effectiveness of play and calisthenics when coaching people and classes for years, as well as using them in my own training. As a trainer and coach, seeing the results from this type of exercise and the engagement from people wanting to learn new skills, it’s hard not to find that enthusiasm infectious.

So what are the benefits from training in this manner?

There is strong evidence that learning fundamental movement skills has a positive effect on a person’s physical competency by improving cardio-respiratory fitness, muscular fitness, flexibility and physical activity performance. As well as a form of weight control, research has shown that it can reduce sedentary behaviour. Furthermore, cognitive development, problem-solving ability, social integration, communication and emotional development can also be improved.

improving cardio-respiratory fitness

These attributes show a shift on both a physiological and psychological level. So by using this type of training, you can help your members to reap the benefits of physical and mental health, which in turn can lead to better self-esteem and self-efficacy.

Sounding good so far?

Maintaining a healthy body and lifestyle through exercise and good nutrition can help prevent numerous health ailments. The risks of things like obesity, heart disease and diabetes can be reduced, whilst improvements in the health of hearts, lungs, muscles and bones are added bonuses.

When training in this style participants develop good static and dynamic balance, building a greater ‘relative strength’, which means a greater strength-to-weight ratio.

good nutrition can help prevent numerous health ailments

Performing playful skills such as holding a headstand, handstand or doing animal style movements, as we do when we are learning to move around in our infant and primary-school years, has people moving in a controlled multi-planar fashion. Moving in these ways increases awareness of oneself, as well as activity in the neural networks of muscles, which may not have been working efficiently due to a lack of use in this manner.

Stay strong and live, love and laugh! - Dan

For more training tips from Dan and to read his weekly blogs, visit http://dancumberworth.co.uk. Keep a look out for part two of tour old school training trends for exercise and workout ideas on how to get started with this style of ‘old school’ training.