Exercise to music lesson plan

An exercise-to-music lesson plan has five components that need to be planned for every class. Allowing and planning for variety to keep students interested and work different parts of the body should be a priority for any teacher. The basic format is warm-up, aerobic, muscle strengthening, stretch, cool-down.

Choose Music

Selecting music that motivates and moves people helps keep the class working through tough spots during an exercise-to-music class. Plan on having a different song for each segment of the five-part class. Warm-ups and cool-down music should be slower than the rest of the music selections. Make your song selections appropriate for the class you teach. Strive to make the music upbeat enough to keep the fittest person engaged but moderate enough to not exhaust the weakest link.

Warm Up Well

Warm-ups for exercise-to -music need to cover three parts: joint mobilisation, pulse raiser and stretching. Joint mobilisation gets all major joints moving and ready for impact and use. Make sure to cover the knees, pelvis, elbows, shoulders, wrists, ankles and spine in your plans. A pulse-raiser is any exercise that gets the heart pumping faster. Most instructors use aerobic exercises to accomplish this without raising of the arms above the head or impact. Stretch out your students some immediately after the pulse-raising exercise.

Aerobic Activity

Next, plan for an aerobic part of the class. This should be no more than 20 minutes for a 60-minute class. Have the students check their pulse after about five minutes of aerobics. Instruct the students to raise their arms higher or make larger movements if the pulse is not yet reaching aerobic levels. Tell them to tone down their movements if the heart rate is above an aerobic range.

Strengthen the Muscles

Doing some resistance activity or adding weights to a routine helps strengthen the muscles. Generally, muscle strengthening exercises are slower and more strategic than the aerobic section of the class. Music chosen for this section should still be upbeat so as to not get the students to relax too soon.

Cool It Down

Get the class to transition into the end of the class by having the fourth song on your playlist be slower. Lead the class through cool-down movements that take about two or three minutes of class time.


End with restretching the muscle groups at a deeper level than the beginning of the class. Since the body is fully warm, deep stretching is a great way to get the body to release toxins and work on elasticity. Choose an ending song that leaves the class on an upbeat note but is slower in pace.