May 15, 2012 by Katie
Since I’ve been home in Kansas City, my workouts have been very different from Chicago! All last week my workouts consisted of either a run or Jazzercise, and mostly, it was Jazzercise! I thought that I would be spending most of my workouts at home doing HIIT workouts on the treadmill or elliptical, and then working the weights! However, day 1 I went to Jazzercise with my mom and remembered why I loved it so much! I know I’ve discussed Jazzercise before, but since I have a lot of new readers, I thought it was time for another review!
I actually started Jazzercise back in college. One of my best friends and my “twin” in my sorority, Amy Lee, had taken Jazzercise on and off her whole life because her mom is an instructor! Her mom teaches classes in a small town in North Carolina and I even got to go to one of her classes once! Amy Lee convinced me to go to a class in Charleston with her and I absolutely loved it! We went our whole senior year, as many times as we could during the week! How many classes offered per day and at what times is completely dependent on the location, but we were lucky to be near East Cooper Jazzercise, which offered several classes a day!
Here is Amy Lee and I at one of my last classes before I moved to Chicago, and yes, we’re matching:
One thing that I love most about Jazzercise is the community! We knew the instructors, they knew us, and we knew several women in the class! When you show up at the same time on the same day, you start to get to know people and build great relationships. Even if you’re new, or attend a class-time that’s not normal for you, there’s still a great sense of community in the class atmosphere. Everyone is excited (and if not, the instructor gets them pumped up!) and very accepting and encouraging of everyone in the class.
From the Jazzercise Website:
A Typical Class
Each class is approximately 60 minutes and incorporates these components:
- A warm-up segment comprising gentle rhythmic movements and jazz isolations for individual muscle groups.
- An aerobic dance segment to increase cardiovascular fitness and burn calories.
- An aerobic cool-down segment to reduce heart rate.
- A muscle-toning segment with weights to strengthen the hips, thighs, derriere, abdomen, upper torso, and arms.
- A final cool-down stretch segment to return the heart rate to normal.
Typically the cardio segment is about 35 minutes, and the muscle-toning segment is 25 minutes. The teachers tell you that throughout the cardio section you’re on a heart rate curve, where throughout the segment your hear rate rises as the routines become more difficult, and then goes back down a bit just before the muscle-toning.
My teacher yesterday said during class, “remember to work on your own curve,” meaning that each person was there for their own class and should make of it what they want to. That’s another thing I love about Jazzercise: it’s for everyone! In my class there are girls my age and younger and there are women in their 70s! There are fit, athletic women as well as obese women trying to get healthy. It really is for everyone and the instructor helps people tailor the moves to their abilities by showing low-impact versions of each move during the routine.
I know it’s a little blurry, but here’s the curve:
One thing I don’t like about Jazzercise, however, is that if you go to the same instructor for every class, then the muscles you work don’t get changed up very often. Most instructors come up with a set, with the routines that they are going to do, and they use that set for a few weeks, occasionally changing one or two songs. The problem with this is that you are working the same muscles every time. Although each set incorporates songs that hit each body area, I realized after a few classes that I wasn’t working my back or glutes very much. Luckily, I had a sub instructor yesterday who used different routines and hit those two areas! I think one of the keys is to try and go to different instructor’s classes throughout the week.
One thing that worries a lot of newbies are the moves and choreography. However, these are usually very easy to pick up on. Everything is done in eight counts, and the instructor usually starts you off by repeating some of the moves at the beginning of each routine so that you get them down. There were a couple girls that came to class for the first time last week and picked up each routine very quickly. Even I don’t know the moves since they release new routines pretty frequently, and I hadn’t been since December! And the website even has videos that show a lot of the basic moves that are repeated in various routines.
If you get a chance, I highly recommend checking out a Jazzercise class near you. I, personally, wouldn’t use it as my only form of exercise, but it’s an amazing way to get in some great cross training. Plus, it’s SO FUN! I really do love it!
Have you ever been to a Jazzercise class?
What’s your favorite form of exercise or exercise class?