5. Do the best you can.
When trying to get a new fitness routine down and keep up with the class, it’s easy to forgo form for fitting in. But if you want to get better and make the most of your workout, remember that working on the correct form is more important than number of repetitions or keeping pace with the class.
“Do a move until your form starts to fail, then either pause, take a deep breath or hold the form and then jump back into the repetitions when you can,” suggests Banwart. If you’re struggling, any instructor worth his or her salt should offer a beginner modification of a move. For example, after doing one “real” push-up, do nine modified push-ups with your knees bent and touching the floor.
Just don’t buy into the “no pain, no gain” mantra. “If something hurts in a joint—your knees or your back, for instance—you should never struggle through,” notes Banwart.
Above all, don’t take yourself or the class too seriously. Both Banwart and Della Porta suggest keeping a smile on your face to ward off insecurities and laugh it off when you feel silly or mess up. Before you know it, you’ll finally get that form down—and go from embarrassed to empowered.
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