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OCR Level 2 - Teaching Exercise to Music - Planning and Teaching an Exercise to Music Session - Course Notes

Planning and Teaching an Exercise to Music Session - Lesson 1 - Class Structure

"Fitness" is defined as "the ability to cope with the demands of every day life and have a little in reserve for emergencies and leisure activities".

Total fitness is fitness in each of the following areas: Nutrition, Social, Physical, Mental and Medical. As exercise professionals, we are concerned with physical fitness.

Physical fitness has five components:

  1. Muscular strength
  2. Muscular endurance
  3. Flexibility, ie the range of movement (ROM) of a joint
  4. Cardio-vascular (respiratory)
  5. Motor skills (agility, coordination, speed, reaction, power...)

Class Structure

An exercise to music class should include the following components:

  1. Warm up
  2. Aerobic
  3. Muscular strength and endurance (MS&E)
  4. Stretching
  5. Cool down

and have the following structure:

  1. Warm up
  2. Main Part
  3. Cool down

Warm Up

The warm up consists of:

  1. Mobilizing the joints - prepares them for work by enhancing the protective properties of the synovial fluid
  2. The pulse raiser - increases blood flow to muscles, body temperature and the neuromuscular response patterns. It is the big muscles such as the muscles in the legs and bottom that have the biggest demand for oxygenated blood.
  3. Stretching - helps prevent muscle soreness and injury

Mobilizing the joints

The following joints need to be mobilized:

  1. Knee - eg hamstring curl
  2. Pelvis - rotation
  3. Elbow - eg bicep curl
  4. Shoulder - eg shoulder shrugs, rolls forwards and backwards
  5. Wrist
  6. Ankle - eg dorsal and plantar points
  7. Spine - rotate right and left (hips facing forward - head following rotation); bend and flex (eg cat like, hands on thighs), lateral flexion right and left
  8. Sterno-clavicular (bring arm across chest)
  9. Sacro-iliac (where pelvis meets spine at back - tilt pelvis forwards and backwards)

It may be easier for the exercise teacher to work from top to bottom so that no joints are omitted. Ensure that arms are not raised above shoulder height during this part of the work out.

Pulse Raiser

One can use the "pulse raiser" as a preteacher to the choreography in the main part, but remember:

  • Don't raise the arms above shoulder level
  • No impact, and no hint of impact


Stretch legs - weight bearers - first. Show class position of stretches by demonstrating sideways.

  1. Upper calf muscle (gastrocnemius) - press rear foot to the floor
  2. Lower calf muscle (soleus) - bring rear foot in slightly, straighten body, "sit" on back leg
  3. Hamstring stretch - lift hip on hamstring being stretched to increase the stretch.
  4. Quadriceps - bend knee in front, take foot back, hip is forward, laces of trainers press down against hand
  5. Gluteals - public toilet stretch
  6. Lattismus dorsi - side stretch, feet at 10 to 2, arm across chest slightly forward
  7. Adductors (inner thigh) - both feet forward, hip, knee, ankle in alignment
  8. Hip Flexor
  9. Deltoid - arm across front, shoulder back, opposite arm hold between wrist and elbow
  10. Tricep - head up - arm across back of head, or can increase stretch in less supple people with push on front of tricep.
  11. Chest - arms behind, chest out
  12. Back - arms link at front, feel shoulder blades separate

You should incorporate some sort of additional movement inbetween stretches to keep the muscles warm.