Beginner Aerobic Routines
Aerobic exercise routines are combinations of movements set to a specific count. Group fitness participants expect to dance, kick, spin, jump and squat their way to improved health. Expect to find a variety of movements in an aerobic class that are set to the speed of the music. Music with beats per minute between 130 and 155 offer an effective pace for a cardiovascular workout. Slower paced, closer to 130 bpm, music is good for complicated choreography or for older adult fitness programs. Fast music, closer to 155 bpm, is best when put with simple movements or short segments of choreographed routines.
Aerobic routines are based on music counts. Beginner exercises are performed in counts of two. For example, lift and lower your right knee for a two-count movement. Change this into a four-count exercise by adding a lift and lower of the left knee. Combine your exercises to fill 16 counts. A 16-count pattern fits with music rhythms. When you repeat this pattern, you have a 32-count routine that will flow with current music styles.
Basic Aerobic Movements
A knowledge of basic aerobic movements is helpful before you participate in a class. Expect to perform knee lifts, butt kicks, front kicks, step touches to the side, march in place, jumping jacks, V-steps and grapevines. Perform a step touch and step to the right with your right foot and then step your left foot to your right foot. A V-step creates the shape of a "V" on the floor. Step forward and slightly out to the right with your right foot. Step forward and slightly out to the left with your left foot. Step backward and slightly inward with your right foot. Step backward and next to your right foot with your left foot. The grapevine is a side-to-side movement. From a standing position, step your right foot to the right. Step your left foot behind your right foot. Step your right foot to the right. Step your left foot next to your right foot.
A group aerobic class contains low- and high-impact exercises. One routine should not consist of all high-impact movements, such as jumping jacks, jumping rope or jumping side to side; these should be alternated with low-impact moves. For example, march forward for four counts, then lift your right knee and then your left knee. Perform two cha-cha-cha's, moving backward. Step your right foot behind, step your left foot to your right foot and step your right foot in place. Repeat with using the left foot first. Finish with two jumping jacks.
At times you will find aerobic classes with combinations of dance-inspired movements. For example, grapevine to the right and then step your right foot out and in twice. Grapevine to the left and step your left foot out and in twice. Peform a six-count mambo with your right foot. Step your right foot forward. Step your left foot in place. Step your right foot backward. Step your left foot in place. Step your right foot forward. Step your left foot in place. Perform a quick cha-cha-cha and begin the six-count mambo with your left foot.
Once you master the front-to-back and side-to-side movements, the angles are changed to increase the challenge of the basic choreography. Instead of performing a grapevine to the side, step out toward the front right corner of the room and perform it on a diagonal. Return the grapevine toward your left straight across the room. March backward for four counts. Turn to your right and perform two front kicks to return you to the starting position.
A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.