body language

What does your Body Language say?

Author: Tanya Thompson from

A photo speaks a thousand words… 

And this little girl has nailed it! (and she is bloody cute). What influence could your body language have on the success of your classes? Have you ever observed an instructor teaching a class where the instructor could not be less interested in what their clients are doing?

Or maybe, you can see that their confidence is not quite where it needs to be!

The one thing that we need to remember, is that people are already forcing themselves to get out of bed to make it to your classes, so focusing on your body language is imperative when wanting to teach successful classes. It is definitely a cornerstone for your success. Clients will probably care less about your knowledge if your body language says…


We are not flying Boeing 737’s and we do not carry the stress that comes with being a Captain on a Boeing. Therefore, we really have no excuse to drown the vibe of a class with exhausting body language.

Often we do not even realize what we look like when we are teaching and therefore, I always suggest filming one of your classes so that you can assess your demeanour.

One thing that we always look at when an instructor is teaching is their body language…. especially when it comes to marking any of our students exams.

Disinterested, folded arms in front of you, hands behind your back, hands in your pockets, sitting all slouched next to your client and staring at the ceiling is just not gonna cut it AND it is going to cost you dearly in the long run.

Your clients are already forcing themselves to exercise and now they have to train with an instructor who is just not feeling it today or any day for that matter….. THEY WILL LEAVE YOU because if your body language is remotely negative, the entire class will absorb that negativity!!!

This is pretty sad if you consider that;

  • You are the leader in the class
  • They are paying you to get them towards their health goals
  • They are paying your bills

What if it is confidence that is causing you to shy away in your classes?

Confidence is always a challenge for many people in various careers, but in our career we are put right in the front of the line as we showcase our skills when we teach. If you feel that you are lacking a little confidence, I would love to encourage you to change your body language, your posture, your arm position and appear more approachable and open to your clients. This will have a positive subconscious effect on you!

Taking the time to assess your body language when you teach is a simple task that can change the trajectory of your classes. It is a secret ingredient to client retention, to professional success and to drawing people like magnets towards you. Good body language is so imperative in the Fitness and Health Industry that if you ignore it, you are filtering negativity and failure into your classes.

🤔Imagine this….. You want to get into amazing shape and you have no idea where to start. Your instructor says, Get on the Treadmill and do your HIIT, and then the instructor proceeds to look at his Facebook updates, or goes to get himself a glass of water (for 5 minutes), or sits on the floor next to the treadmill and tells you about his weekend……


Your instructor says, We are going to do an intense abdominal series and you are really going to feel your abs burn. You start the series, they stand next to you with their arms folded, looking miserable and counting monotonously until you complete the series.

I am 100% convinced that you could have done this Ab series in the comfort of your own home without paying anyone a sum of money to count for you…… Where is the VA VA VOOM…. where is the ENCOURAGEMENT …. where is the OPEN, HAPPY, ENGAGED BODY LANGUAGE…. it is nowhere… so your client walks out of the door, possibly never to return or at least never to return after a month or so!

This is but 2 examples of what we see happening constantly in classes. DON’T BE THAT INSTRUCTOR… it is going to COST YOU!

So if you are serious about your career, then try the quick task below. You might surprise yourself.

Set up a camera to film YOU and not your client… even if you are teaching online. Look at how YOU are sitting, standing, your facial expressions and where you have your hands. Now be your BEST critic and get serious about what you are seeing!


Compare the two tables below… and see which table you fall into.

If you fall more into table 1 then I want to say STOP RIGHT NOW… and take a deep breath and do everything in your power to fall into table .2.

Folded armsnone Looks disinterested, closed and bored
Looking aroundnoneClient is not a priority
Resting your head in your hands as you sitnoneTotally bored and exhausted
Looking at your phone noneClient does not need you at all but your phone does
Results of negative body language

Open moving armsYou are present and your have energynone
Making eye contact with your clientYou have their back and you are focussed on themnone
Sitting / stand up tall with visible handsYou are open and interestednone
SmilingYou are bringing a great vibe to the classnone
Results of positive body language


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