Here’s Why Group Exercise Classes Are a Can’t Miss

YMCA Members share silly poses after a group exercise class lifting weights, doing yoga poses and more.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Krysta Lafferty can count on her phone to start the notifications early and often.

Lafferty, the Group Exercise Coordinator at the Kennett Area YMCA, is in a group chat with a handful of fellow mothers, and on those days, the group chat turns to finding out who’s going to be at their group exercise class at the Kennett Y.

More accurately, it turns to who won’t be going to class.

“It’s always, “‘Who’s going to this class? Who’s going where?’” Lafferty says. “I feel like when you create that bond and that unity, there are people reaching out on a day where you might think, ‘I really don’t want to go to the gym.’ When you create those connections, it turns to, ‘people are going to miss me if I don’t go.’”

Lafferty has seen first-hand what the effects of a group exercise class are—she teaches Body Attack, Body Combat, Body Pump, Grit and a couple of freestyle classes. Click here and select your branch to learn more about group exercise classes at the YMCA.

Here are four reasons why Krysta believes making group exercise classes a part of your wellness routine is the way to go.

  1. Stay motivated and safe - “Most people are going to push themselves harder in a group setting than they will in an individual setting,” Lafferty said. “If you’re in a group exercise setting, you’re also going to have a trained person able to ensure your form is correct. If you’re wandering around the weight room by yourself, you might be doing things in a totally wonky way that might be setting you up for an injury.”
  2. Get the benefits of a total body workout - Group exercise classes revolve around full-body movements instead of focusing on one or two muscle groups. They’re typically shorter in length but high in intensity, giving everybody the best of both worlds with being able to work out and not having to spend a lot of time doing so. Group exercise classes also rely on constantly doing different things, which surprises the body and helps people avoid hitting plateaus where their gains stall.
  3. There’s science behind its impact - Of course, this isn’t just haphazardly throwing together a workout and hoping it works. Group exercise classes are predominantly science-based. These aren’t guesses. There’s evidence to support the movements and workouts, which lends even more credibility.

“Most, if not all, of our classes have science behind them,” Lafferty said. “They’re research-based. There’s a ton of research that goes into body mechanics, safety and the benefits of each and every single exercise. We’re doing these things because there’s evidence behind them as to why they’re beneficial.”

Lafferty knows that most of the Y’s members are looking to develop their overall fitness and strength, and there’s no faster or more efficient way to get there than with varied total-body workouts.

“It’s hard to come up with new and creative ways to train and you need to do that if you want your body to keep making progress,” Lafferty said. “If you keep doing the same thing, your body is going to get used to it and plateau.” That’s what makes group exercise classes beneficial—instructors are always changing it up!

It’s easy to see why that group chat is so quick to erupt.