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Planning a step aerobic routine requires knowledge of step movements and music counts. Your participants will appreciate an even number of movements on each leg, a variety of directional patterns and variations in step placement. For example, instead of always approaching the step from the widest portion, approach the step from the smaller end. As your experience improves, add an automatic reversing movement to begin the pattern on the opposite foot. Your patterns can be as short or as long as your memory and creativity allows, as long as you let the music be your guide.
Choose warm-up movements that incorporate some of the step movements you are using in the workout. Teach your participants the names of moves during this time for easy transitions during the aerobic portion of the routine. Spend five to eight minutes warming up your class.
Listen to your music. Select music that is between 118 and 128 beats per minute. Identify the down beats, which are counts 1, 3, 5 and 7. Identify the up beats, which are counts 2, 4, 6 and 8. Know that each musical count phrasing has four series of eight counts for a total of 32 beats.
Select the movements you want to include in your routine. Identify whether the movement is even such as a basic step, which ends on the opposite foot you began with, or is odd, such as a knee repeater which ends on the same foot you began with. Use odd movements for a pattern that automatically begins on the opposite foot. Add the odd movement at the end of your pattern.
Piece your movements together so the total number of beats equals 32, to be even with the musical phrasing. Think of your movements in terms of 4, 8 or 16 counts. Keep it simple and use basic movements for your first three exercises. Add one challenging movement per pattern until your instruction improves.
Add directional movements that require going over the step, using the sides of the step, or crossing on an angle. Use movements that are front to back, side to side and rotational to add variety to your patterns.
Prepare three or four patterns to fill an hour-long class. Practice your routines with your music to determine whether the phrasing fits into the 32-count pattern.
Prepare a five-minute cool-down to lower your participants' heart rates. Use off-the-step movements and add stretching exercises.
- An example of an automatic repeating pattern: two basic steps, two v-steps, two alternating hamstring curls, three repeater knees.