Simon Says.... Stop Body Shape Cueing in Your Class

“ Yes, really push yourself in these crunches because we don’t want any body fat in this area, right?!?!”

Ever heard an instructor say this in class?

Ever cringed and wanted to throw your resistance band at the instructor as soon as you heard it?

Ok, good, I’m glad I’m not alone!

As the group fitness industry continues to evolve, one of the ways I personally think we are continuing to struggling to evolve is in how we cue our classes, particularly when it comes to body composition. I continuously hear instructors tell others what they should want or not want for their shape of their body from you want flab abs, you don’t want a bigger butt, you do want Michelle Obama arms….but do you??? Or is that what we, as instructors, are projecting onto you, onto our classes, because that’s what WE want??

I’m convinced it’s the latter.

I’m not saying that if we are working individually with a client who comes with a specific goal that we should not listen, plan workouts according to this, and help them, in a positive, body-affirming way, reach their goals. But in all of our work, especially in a group fitness class, it’s important that we do not place our own desires (or insecurities) onto our class. We must learn to be inclusive and treat every body type as a healthy, beautiful body type, because IT IS. And when we cue our students to think certain parts of their body aren’t beautiful, we can impact their own personal body image and their confidence internally and externally.

We must uplift our students with our words, not cause them to question themselves.

The most important way we can change this? is simply doing it.

  • Teach your students about why doing a certain exercise will help them stronger instead of help them get flat abs.

  • Remind Your students that they look amazing when they enter the class and when they leave the class…instead of telling them how their body is going to change from doing those squats.

  • Stop using the words “ you want this” for your body and let them set their own goals and intentions for every class…and then ask them what those are so that you can celebrate with them instead of deciding what they should be for them.

This week, remember this: we don’t have to do what Simon says all of the time…and if you are still body type cueing, it’s a great time to go tell Simon to take a seat himself.

Actions Speak Louder than Words: I’d love to hear words and phrases you’re using that do encourage loving your body exactly how it is! Share them below and let’s build a library of cueing phrases new instructors can tap into!