Let’s talk modification!
I’ve struggled with this. A lot. Actually, I’d say I was just in denial. I heard teachers and trainers offer modifications but no way was I going to “cop out” and take those. I was there to work and wanted to use every single challenging minute to it’s fullest. Fast forward to now – post over-training injury, with experience on the trainer/teacher side of things and modify is one of my favorite words to listen for!
Boy was I off.
Fast forward to now – post over-training injury, with experience on the trainer/teacher side of things and “modification” is one of my favorite words to listen for!
NEWSFLASH: IT IS OK TO MODIFY IN GROUP FITNESS CLASSES!
I want to scream this from the rooftops with all my little voice has in it. YOU GUYS – you don’t have to outdo the whole class every time you show up. There will be days that you can and you do and that’s amazing. Those, as a student, are some of my favorites. But but but… There will also be days that a guided exercise isn’t quite suited for your body or you’re on the verge of injury, or you’re stupidly sore from that class you did kick ass in and that, my friends, is what modifications are for.
So here’s my top tips for accepting modifications and listening to what your body needs!
Know that there will be days that you don’t have to modify anything.
Hell yeah there will be! Take advantage!! Those are those days where you show up to class refreshed, not sore and ready to get after it. For me, this is the day after a break or a mentally tough day. These workouts feel STRONG & gooooood. So when I do have it in me to to give it all, I take full advantage knowing that it isn’t an all the time kind of thing.
Know that you’re not the only one in the room or class that is taking a modification!
Modifying in a group class can feel pretty like you aren’t keeping up. Heck maybe that’s exactly what it means. Either way, it will feel like you’re the only one that has to take a modification but that is so not true. As a teacher, I see everything and know that nearly every student modifies at least one exercise or pose throughout class.
Don’t be afraid to ask for an appropriate modification
If you need a modification for a posture or exercise that you aren’t familiar with, ASK. We teachers absolutely love when our students are curious enough to ask and learn how to keep moving despite any limitations. I have the highest respect for students that know an exercise isn’t the right fit for them! Maybe asking during class isn’t possible or makes you nervous (…yoga) – totally cool, you can always chat with a teacher before or after class to find a better option for you!
Know that you can modify without permission
You absolutely do not have to wait on a trainer or instructor to give you a modification for an exercise that does not work for you. There are plenty of times where they’ll go ahead and offer one but all plenty of times when they won’t. No matter if they say it or not, it is OK to modify. If you’ve got a mod in mind, do it!
Moral of the story – MODIFY when you need to!
There is absolutely nothing wrong with using exercises that work better for you at a point in time. You can beast mode through a class another time… actually, no, you aren’t any less of a beast for modifying!! Group fitness is awesome for so many reasons but what is missed sometimes is the reminder that we are all different – Do what works for YOU!