Injuries are the worst as a group exercise instructor. It can literally take you out of work for weeks. Because our bodies are our tools for work, we must take care to prevent injuries at all times. All Indoor Cycle instructors should keep these three valuable tips in mind.
Your classes and clients will benefit from keeping these tips in mind, too. Share these tips with your Indoor Cycle class participants; encourage participants to avoid injury by listening to their body and implementing these three tips:
Increase training intensity gradually. For an instructor, it is a valuable skill to be able to teach on and off the bike. If you are just getting started as an indoor cycle instructor, alternate between teaching on the bike and cueing off the bike. Give yourself a break after a few songs, practice being the best coach on land while encouraging your riders to give it their all. For class participants who are just starting out, ask them to push for the first half of class and then cool down for the second half of class. Gradually they will be able to increase the length of participation in the class. Encourage them to stay through to the end and join the stretch. Alternately, you can encourage new riders to alternate between songs: ride with the instructor one song, ride at a warm up pace the next. This option will also help the participant to gradually increase his endurance.
Avoid over-training, too. There are a handful of warning signs that a body is over-training: extreme soreness and stiffness, decrease in body weight, decrease in appetite, lack of motivation or loss of interest, unable to complete a training session. If you, or a participant, seem to be suffering because of these outward signs of overtraining, mix in another mode of cardiovascular activity at a lower intensity for a week to allow the body to rest and recover.
Always remember RICEM: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate, and Mode. If a student complains of an injury, or you suffer from one yourself, implement the steps of RICEM. We are all on a mission to take care of our bodies with exercise & healthy, nutritious choices; but we often don’t listen to our bodies when they tell us what we don’t want to hear: you have an injury. Don’t push through and potentially make it worse. Listen to your body and immediately implement RICEM!
These three tips, combined with simple measures in class design like warm up, cool down, and stretch, will prevent injury and keep your riders coming back for more!