Group X classes offer students new way to workout

Students may struggle with going to the gym regularly, but group fitness classes can be a motivating way to get more exercise. Unlike a certain pair of shoes or hairstyle, fitness classes are the latest thing at Kent State’s Rec Center. 

Kent State offers many options when it comes to working out. Students can go to the gym and lift some weights by yourself or you can go to a Group X class.

Group X classes are instructor-lead workout sessions designed to fit any fitness needs at various levels. Glow spin and pilates are two of the most popular classes at Kent State. 

Glow spin is a rave like experience that will get the blood flowing with loud, motivating music and a disco ball, according to Hayley Holt, glow spin instructor. Spinning engages your core and lower body during intervals of a warm up, high intensity and a cool down of a quiet meditation. Holt has been teaching the class for two years after finding her love for body positivity and mental health. 

“My goal after each class is to make each person feel great. Mind, body and soul,” Holt said. “It’s all about empowerment of individuals.”

Each class is individualized for each person so students can go at their own pace. Holt chose music that motivates people to move and push their bodies to new limits. She has each person in the class choose a song that gets them moving and plays it while they are spinning. At the end of the class, a positivity jar is passed around with affirming sayings to send people off on a good note. 

“What’s different from other spinning classes is that I want to inspire people during the class,” Holt said. “I give motivational speeches to raise the energy and confidence of each person.” 

Pilates is a low intensity workout that raises the heart beat. Pilates is all about using your own body strength to sculpt and lift the body. The class can also be a stress reliever as it incorporates a strong focus on breathing. 

Carol Dutton, the pilates instructor, has been teaching the class for over 12 years. She finds it is a popular exercise because of how easy it is to incorporate into everyday life. 

“Pilates is an efficient, complete workout that includes flexibility, stretching and strength,” Dutton said. “You leave feeling accomplished but not so sweaty where you can’t go back to work.” 

Breathing techniques are used to connect the mind to the body. It allows you to take control of slow body movements so the muscles are being contracted. Dutton focuses on core strength because if the core is strong, so is everything else. 

“Breathing is the heart of pilates. You have to be able to release everything in your mind and breathe in order to focus on slow, strong movements,” Dutton said. “Learning to do this, you will be able to tone and build muscle using just your own body.” 

Kent State offers over 30 different Group X classes at the Rec Center at a variety of times and days. Glow spin is offered Monday and Wednesday at 8:15 p.m. Pilates is offered Tuesday and Thursdays at 12 p.m. 

Contact Sarah Arnold at [email protected].