Mojo Fitness Class Tips
Dance fitness classes are a wonderful way to give the body, brain and soul a good workout, but not all classes are created equal. In most cases, class material and choreography is left to the discretion of the instructor, which can make the experience frustratingly inconsistent. Too many songs with low beats per minute (bpm) and/or with moves that are overly complicated can diffuse the intensity and enjoyment of an overall workout. In addition, too many repetitive movements with the same muscle groups (ex; the salsa) can be a strain on the body and lead to injury.
At Mojo Fitness, our instructors memorize and select material from an inventory of fitness routines expertly assembled with a variety of moves and song choices to provide a FUN, heart pumping, total body workout. Mojo classes are designed to emphasize proper form and fitness technique, rather than focus on precise dance steps or a proper samba. Teaching proper form first, allows Mojo friends to individualize the workout according to our varying rhythms and exercise levels. As a result, every Mojo experience is a heart pumping, strength building, calorie burning workout. More importantly, our class is more like a dance club experience than a dance class!
Think “tall”. The most important part of any workout is to keep good posture – chin parallel to the floor, shoulders down and back, core tight. Good posture offers the best foundation to engage your core and access muscle groups efficiently. In fact, good posture 24/7 is a great way to build core muscle even while you’re sitting. Best of all, good posture instantly makes your “girls” look perkier and makes you look up to seven pounds lighter. You will also look and feel more confident.
Everyone has their own level of exercise intensity and throughout the hour it will be reached at different times. As long as you challenge yourself- your heart rate is up and you have a slightly hard time talking – you’re getting a great workout. Feel free to move your arms and legs higher/lower, faster/slower, harder/softer than the instructor. It’s your workout! We have a number of Mojo friends with weak knees who choose to focus on upper body moves to reach their cardio goals. We even have a Mojo friend with a weak shoulder, who has chosen to dance around with one arm in the air. Whatever is going on with your body, we encourage you to make the moves your own. Don’t let minor ailments stop you from enjoying an exhilarating, heart-pumping workout. That’s when you start aging yourself.
Upper body technique
Because we move our upper body with equal vigor to our lower body, our arms become heavier and become virtual weights in Mojo workouts. It’s important that you lift your arms from the core up and not just from the shoulders or you could strain your shoulders. Mojo allows you to access all the muscle groups in your arms and shoulders, not just the primary muscles as with standard weights.
Upper body tips from Cindy
“Fatigue” is good and desirable
Our muscles build and heart rate improves only after you’ve reached fatigue and pushed though the burn. If you’ve challenged yourself during the workout, your body will repair and adapt by building more muscle and increasing body efficiency (burning more calories and boosting metabolism). If you stop as soon as you’re tired or don’t consistently challenge your body, you will not get results.
Pain is NOT good
The great thing about Mojo is the music and energy of the class will energize and push you longer, harder than you would alone. However, if you’re feeling pain or strain, please listen to your body and have it checked by a doctor before you injure it further. Sometimes, the simplest tweak in form or new athletic shoes can resolve the situation. Please feel free to let me know. Maybe we can figure out why it’s happening so it doesn’t happen again.
“Elephant Feet” (Flat feet vs. Balls of feet)
Many women prefer to dance light on the balls of their feet, which will eventually wreak havoc on your body. It propels your body forward, is hard on your knees and diffuses power. We prefer you think of our Mojo movements as athletic vs. “dancey”. Bring the heel down, whenever possible, like you have elephant or flat feet. This stance will help you access more muscle groups which will provide you with more balance (safer), more power (muscle toning), and more endurance (more calories burned!).
Lower body tips from Cindy
LET IT GO!
Though we try to make routines easy-to-follow, we understand that they’re new to you. Like any instrument, it takes time to get our arms, legs and brain to work in sync. The good news is, this process is an amazing exercise for our brains! According to scientific research, cardiovascular exercise with a pattern is one of the best ways to keep your brain young. Just keep your core/posture in tact and keep moving. It’s more fun when everyone let’s it go and makes it their own.