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8 ways to up your Zoom exercise game now that virtual workouts are here to stay

8 ways to up your Zoom exercise game now that virtual workouts are here to stay

It’s hard to predict the future, especially in pandemic times. But you don’t need to be Nostradamus to see that virtual workouts will play an increasingly important role in how people exercise.

The digital fitness space is expected to expand by 33 percent to just under $60 million by 2027, according to reports from Allied Market Research, and many experts say hybrid fitness is the future of working out.

That means you’ll need to step up your Zoom workouts to give your clients a premium experience in a crowded market. To start, Wix Fit automatically generates Zoom links for you and your clients, then integrates them into your bookings calendar. And the Zoom workout tips here will help you improve the quality of the sessions themselves. (For more on leading virtual workouts, check out Wix Learn.)

01. Encourage clients to keep their videos on

Yes, it’s worth the awkwardness. Two-way video reminds clients that everyone’s in it together and keeps people motivated. Plus, “it’s a bit weird when you have 50 people and two cameras on,” says Patrick Cole, a personal trainer and gym owner in Germany. “Seeing clients allows trainers to learn faces and names and can create a sense of community.”

02. Consider your angle

Different workouts call for different angles. Keep these tips from Bernadette Barber, a personal trainer and founder of Badass With Berns, in mind.

  • Choose a high-low angle. Place your phone or computer on the floor, tilt it upwards and encourage your clients to do the same. “A lot of the form comes from foot placement,” Barber says. “That's hard to assess when you can’t see people's feet, ankles or knees, which are the vital joint points.” Of course, clients should be able to see your feet, too.

  • Cue position changes. You’ll need to encourage people to change angles for different exercises. “If someone's doing a deadlift and they're facing you dead on, it's nearly impossible to tell whether their form is correct,” says Barber.

  • Don’t worry about getting your full-body in the frame. If you’re hosting a legs-focused class or purely an upper-body workout, it’s okay to capture just the top or bottom half of your body.

03. Create a space for conversation

Part of what helps foster community at in-person workouts are those few minutes before or after class when people talk among themselves or ask their instructor questions. Of course, Zoom workouts offer zero opportunity for locker room talk, but you can replicate that experience by saving a few minutes before and after class for people to chat. “I love when people share what they’ve realized through practice because it reminds me that there's something on the other side,” says Julianne Aerhee Byun, a yoga teacher in Miami. (Related reading: Why be a yoga teacher now? 6 reasons to invest in your practice.)

04. Offer avenues for accountability

To stay connected with her clients in between classes, Barber organizes check-ins to see how her members are doing. She also encourages them to check in with each other on social media for the same reason. It can be as simple as messaging to say: “‘Okay, I'm going to do this workout, and I'll check in with you in 15 minutes to tell you that I'm done,’” Barber explains. “I'm big on accountability. I think that you can do a lot alone, but man, you can do so much more with a team.” You can also add the Wix Groups app to your website to encourage community there.

05. Recommend the right clothing

In terms of how to dress for your Zoom workouts, Barber has two best practices:

  • Wear something that contrasts with your background. In general, it’s best to stick to solids for Zoom workouts since patterns can appear busy on screen and make it harder to see your body properly. (Same goes for shooting your on-demand workouts.)

  • Steer clear of clothing that’s too loose or baggy, which makes it difficult to see form.

06. Keep your software up to date

It can be tempting to procrastinate that glaring Zoom update—who wants to sit and watch that little wheel spin? But this is a non-negotiable. These updates fix bugs that’d otherwise lead to technological malfunctions like loss of audio or software crashes. Update now, save yourself some stress later. The same goes for your clients: send a one-sheet with Zoom tips for new students. You can include these tips in an upcoming fitness newsletter.

07. Warm up your wifi

You tell clients to show up to the studio a few minutes early to secure a space and settle onto their mat, and you do the same to prepare for an upcoming class. Well, this applies to Zoom workouts, too. Tell your clients to log in a few minutes early to adjust their cameras and account for any password or update issues.

08. Set the tone

One of the best things to come out of the first Zoom workout boom was the rise of themed classes. Dedicate your playlist to a specific decade, performer or music genre; or encourage costumes. We’ve seen wig parties, ‘80s Jazzercise tributes and everything in between. Instagram polls are a great way to crowdsource theme ideas from your followers and drum up excitement in advance—and then encourage them to post selfies after to keep the party going. The best marketing strategies are fun.

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