A revolutionary group exercise phenomenon is taking over the health and fitness industry; long-gone are the high cut leotards and countless grapevines to cheesy tunes. Welcome to the new look of Exercise to Music (ETM), a class not only suitable for all ages, genders and fitness levels, but maybe even the answer to improving the nation’s physical, psychological, and emotional health.

What is Exercise to Music (ETM)?
In its purist form, ETM is a group workout class led by a qualified ETM instructor in time to music. However, in the 21st century, the ETM class is much more than this simple definition. It’s a fun, exciting and time-efficient workout that pushes the body and challenges the mind. Whether the goal is to sculpt the body, release stress, burn calories, learn a dance, or simply to enjoy exercising, there are endless opportunities to cater for everyone’s needs.

What are the benefits of an ETM class?
When we perform any exercise we release hormones called endorphins. During group exercise this endorphin release is further increased, enhancing the sense of well-being. This is partly due to the synchronization of group exercise; in other words, performing the same movement pattern as a group results in an amplified feeling of altruism and mood elevation. These endorphins also result in a decreased sense of pain, resulting in pushing harder for a longer period of time – increasing the energy burnt, the muscles worked and maximising the cardiovascular benefit.

Working out regularly with a group can also create a sense of community, by building friendships with those with similar goals. This in turn increases motivation to not only turn up to a class, but to also work harder compared to exercising alone.

Isn’t ETM for girls?
Historically, ETM classes may have had a large female following. However, it seems that the fitness professional’s opinion that ETM is just for ‘ladies in lycra’ is disappearing. Male exercisers should not be afraid to try what can essentially be a challenging, fun and uplifting workout. This is further consolidated by the growing number of male fitness professionals taking part in and teaching ETM – as well as numerous celebrity endorsements of ETM classes.

What makes a good ETM instructor?
An ETM class should be both enjoyable and effective, and it is the responsibility of the instructor to engage and motivate the class to ensure a high quality workout experience.

A good instructor should not only cue exercises in advance and ensure everyone understands each exercise and why they are performing it. They should also correct errors in movements, whilst creating an upbeat and fun environment.

While it’s important to remember that each instructor will have a unique teaching style, all instructors should aim to make everyone in the class feel like a winner, as well as encouraging everyone to work out at their own individual pace.

Types of ETM class to look out for:

  • High intensity interval training (HIIT) classes – combining high intensity plyometrics with lower intensity toning movements – the perfect way to burn fat and increase aerobic endurance
  • Indoor bootcamp – the ultimate combination of strength and aerobic training in a circuit style class, with top motivational music to keep enthusiasm up until the final set
  • Hip hop aerobics – uniting traditional aerobics with trendy dance moves, this workout not only gets your heart pumping but improves stamina, co-ordination and rhythm
  • Aerobarbo – a unique combo of boxing and ballet to provide an intensive cardiovascular and muscular endurance workout, as well as shaping long lean muscles with ballet style movements
  • Be Gleeful – an upbeat and easy to learn dance routine to work the entire body. Pretend to be part of the show!

Summary
Exercise to music is an incredibly powerful way to ensure that exercise becomes an enjoyable habit, improving the health of the body and mind. Trying a variety of classes will ensure different styles of exercise and teaching are experienced, increasing social opportunities and happiness levels too.

If you fancy becoming an ETM instructor and leading the nation to health, then take a look at our Exercise to Music course.

Written by Rachel Hobbs