The Memory Workout with Mimi Rodriguez Adami, features four blocks of choreography that are easy to remember and include playful movements. Having the students memorize the moves and guide the instructor not only benefits the function of memory; it creates a class where the students have to shout out the moves, resulting in lots of hits, misses and laughs. Mimi shares both choreography and tips for creating more engagement and joyful play in classes.
Distracted while teaching a class one day, Mimi Rodriguez Adami’s students started shouting out the next moves to help her stay focused. “I loved it and so did they,” says Mimi. “I have always tried to get my clients to interact with me during every workout, whether it be singing along, or answering questions, but having them actually teach the workout took it to a new level.” According to Mimi, this started a new teaching adventure in which she planned choreography and activities to create more interaction and joy in her classes.
Mimi teaches to a wide spectrum of ages and fitness levels, including many seniors in their 80’s. Like most instructors she strives to include essential components of fitness in her classes, including cardio, muscle conditioning, flexibility, joint mobility, coordination and balance. “Including memory as a component seemed like a perfect addition,” says Mimi, acknowledging that poor memory can be a daily frustration for people as they get older. “We accuse ourselves of having bad memories, but usually this forgetfulness is due to lack of focus, or doing too many things at the same time,” she adds. The goal in The Memory Workout is to have the students learn the moves through repetition and repeat them back. According to Mimi, if the students concentrate on the movements, put them into words and say them out loud, they will be exercising their brains as well as their bodies. Watch her explain more.
The most important ingredient in recreating your own memory workout is to keep the choreography simple so that the students can properly execute the moves with good form. “Make it repetitive so that the difficulty isn’t so much in the choreography as much as it is in the coordinating the information from the instructor's visual, oral and kinesthetic cueing to the client’s eyes, ears and brains so they can integrate them into words and repeat them back to the instructor,” advises Mimi. According to Mimi, instructors should cue the names of the movements and have the students repeat them back. “I even have them cue the countdowns and directions, such as right or left, she adds. “It’s fun when someone makes a mistake and everyone corrects them, laughingly of course, and even more fun when I make a mistake and they correct me.” Mimi also encourages instructors to insert some playful movement in a memory routine. “Students can remember moves better if there is some acting or performance involved in the exercise,” says Mimi. In the video, Mimi added some hip circles and shoulder rolls to create some lighthearted exercises. Unfortunately, she had me in the pool as her student. Sporting a morning bitch-face, Mr. Killjoy wanted nothing to do with the frisky shoulder shimmies and hip shaking.
An American-born European living in Italy since 1975, Mimi Rodriguez Adami has been active in training fitness professionals in land and water fitness for over 35 years. She has several degrees and certifications in fitness and life coaching and loves spreading energy and joy through movement and music. Fitmotivation extends a big THANK YOU to Mimi for traveling to Florida for filming and sharing her robust passion and decades of experience. Look for Mimi's other videos HIIT & Salsa Splash and Mimi's IT Workout, and stay tuned for one more video posting soon.
Author: Mark Grevelding is the founder of Fitmotivation. He is also a training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association’s (AEA). Mark has been active in the fitness industry for 22 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, international presenter and a continuing education provider for AEA, AFAA & ACE.