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Grow Your Gym With a Branded Mobile App

« Blog | Written by Amber Wojcek | | (0) Comments

The average person has about 40 apps on their phone, comprising everything from banking to video games. More and more, people expect to be able to manage their days using self-service functions of phone apps. Providing a mobile app for your members is not only convenient for them, but provides a crucial avenue to build client retention for your fitness business.

Why Apps Work

In the tech world, companies try to make their products more “sticky;” in other words, how do you make a customer keep using your product and make it so integral to their life that they won’t want to cancel? Apps are often one of the top ways product teams try to engage customers and extend their time as customers.

There are a few different ways that apps achieve company growth and retention goals:

1.     Apps help you stay connected

It’s harder and harder to get in front of your customers – whether it’s through email, mail, or social media. But apps can help you stay connected by sending relevant push notifications. Consider using pushes to remind members that they have an upcoming class or to prompt them to sign up for a personal training session.

2.     Apps help people save time

Think about the times when you get an email which tells you to go to a website, where you need to remember a password and then verify your identity on another app. It makes you want to never log in again, right? Compare that to the experience of opening an app you know well – a couple of taps later, and you’re able to do what you need to.

In addition to the simplicity, apps also offer a level of convenience you won’t get elsewhere. You give members the ability to check gym hours while waiting in the line at the grocery store. By making client engagement quick and easy, you’re more likely to have those clients engage!

3.     Apps give you more opportunities

When you implement an app, you also get access to a wealth of data about your members. You’ll be able to see who is using the app and who is making purchases. You can use this information to fuel your outreach and try to engage people who haven’t been visiting or ask common gym-goers for referrals.

How to Stand Out

One report found that there are over 70,000 fitness apps worldwide. That makes launching your own branded mobile app really overwhelming. But, good news: you aren’t trying to compete with FitBit or any other app in the app store.

The key is to remember that your app is a helpful tool in your client management toolkit. Your goal is to get existing and new members to adopt and use the app, and not to have people find your app and then join the gym.

Publicize your app on social media, on your website, and in your emails. When you link to your apps, don’t forget to include the specific link to the Google Play Store; don’t assume everyone’s on Apple. And when you’re onboarding a new member, guide them through the process and help them to download the app while they’re with you. It’ll be worth it to keep your members coming back.

How to Get Custom a Branded App

It’s clear that implementing an app for your business can not only aid in growing your business but also improve client satisfaction. So, what’s next? Your gym membership software may provide custom branded apps that integrate seamlessly with your other gym management tools. When they all speak to each other, it makes it easy to schedule classes, manage members, and handle purchases and billing.

How to Close More Sales for Your Gym

How to Close More Sales for Your Gym

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There’s nothing more important to the success of your gym business than your members. Not only do their dues keep the lights on, but active memberships help you to have predictable income from month to month. However, with more fitness options than ever–from online training to at-home equipment–it may feel more difficult to close sales.

That’s why we’re sharing a few sales techniques you can implement to sell more gym memberships. The key is to provide potential members with a smooth buying experience without putting pressure on them to make a decision before they’re ready.

1.    Keep Your Social Media Up to Date

Most members didn’t just walk into your facility without knowing some background information about you. That’s why updating your social media with new equipment, class times, and trainer bios is so important. For people who haven’t been in a gym in a long time (or ever), gyms are extremely intimidating. By sharing the ins and outs of what to expect and highlighting your features, you’ll make someone more comfortable with taking the next step of reaching out.

Additionally, if you get permission, share photos of different types of members. While you of course want to share results, if you only share people in peak shape, it can be very alienating. You want to show how welcoming you are to people of different body types, abilities, ages and genders.

2.    Digitize the Buying Experience

Many fitness business owners are hesitant to update their sales tactics. They may rely on a high-pressure sales team driven to get contracts signed, no matter what. The result is that prospective members fear that they’re walking into a used car dealership, where they’ll be pushed to sign something they don’t want and be stuck with something not right for them.

While the personal relationship is extremely important to integrating a new member with the gym and wanting to come back, allow them to move at their pace. Add a chat module to your website to allow people to ask questions – and answer them directly without pushing them to get on the phone. Focus on customer service so that they feel comfortable coming in when they’re ready.

Finally, set your facility up with management software that allows people to schedule a tour of the facility or to come in for a free class. Giving people more control over the experience will help ease the anxiety of entering a new gym for the first time.

3.    Update the Sales Process

You know that membership sales are far from the only way to increase revenue for your facility. But too many sales leads focus on driving that revenue from the moment someone has joined your gym, which can leave a sour taste in the new member’s mouth. When you close the sale for the membership, you should once again give buying power back to the member.

Tell your new member that they can browse your self-service app when they’re ready, allowing them to choose a time and trainer for a free session, join classes, buy merchandise or do anything else they need to do. If they have questions, they’ll find you – but not if they fear a sales pitch every time they ask a question. By updating your sales strategy to allow email marketing to push offers while the employees are there to be helpful, people will be much more comfortable coming to your team.

Conclusion

The fitness industry faces a lot of challenges when trying to balance member experience with revenue growth. By letting the team working at your fitness studio to be advocates for your brand and letting the members make purchases on their own terms, you can actually drive gym sales and customer satisfaction.

5 Ways to Accomplish Your 2021 Fitness Goals

Simple Fitness Mindset for the New Year

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If your New Year’s resolution is to get healthier, you’re not alone. About half of the people who made a resolution going into 2021 are planning on exercising more, losing weight, and eating healthier. For people who are looking to focus on their health for their 2021 resolution, we want to offer some tips to help you stick to your goals and feel great all year long.

1. Prepare for Success

Before you enroll in that weight loss program or splurge on pricey exercise equipment, do some homework to determine where you’re currently at, what your goals could look like, and how you’re going to work towards them.

First, talk to your doctor about what you want to achieve. They’ll be able to recommend where to start based on where you are physically and mentally. They may also refer you to a dietician to help you develop healthy eating habits and a diet plan you can stick to.

Next, consider talking to a personal trainer to develop a workout routine. With your trainer, you can set realistic goals to work towards and break down smaller benchmarks for success along the way.

2. Create a Plan

Based on what you’ve discussed with your doctor, dietician, and trainer, you’ll be able to schedule your activities to integrate wellness into your life, rather than treating it as an afterthought. This will make it more likely that you’ll treat health and fitness as part of your lifestyle, and you’ll be more successful at staying on track.

Dedicate a time every week to meal plan, grocery shop, and prep your meals for the week. Set your schedule with your trainer and block time off for your activities. Whether it’s an hour-long yoga class or a fifteen-minute lunchtime walk, treat these appointments as non-negotiable. If you’re starting out with shorter exercise blocks, getting in the habit of blocking this time for yourself will help you in the future as they get longer.

3. Involve a Friend

It can be intimidating to tell a friend about your goals, especially when they’re around weight loss. But involving another person in your journey can be the best way to improve accountability and provide support when you need it most. Whether you have someone who wants to play tennis with you once a week or someone who you can just text for some encouragement when you’re feeling down, leaning on your social circle is one of the best ways to achieve success. 

4. Don’t Overdo It

When you’re starting out, it’s common to feel motivated to go all-out. But just because you’re focused on your fitness goals doesn’t mean you should lose sight of the process. After all, you want to be building better habits that result in a healthier lifestyle—not to run a 5k once and never run again. Pushing too hard or making too many big changes at once are a surefire way to cause burnout and a return to your old ways. Plus, over-exercising before you’ve set the foundation can lead to serious injury. Remember to practice mindful self-care, and keep in touch with how you’re feeling to build up to where you want to be.

5. Be Realistic

The best way to reach your goals is by making them achievable. After all, if you reach your goal, you can always set new ones! But setting an unattainable initial goal can result in discouragement and lead you to give up too soon. Again, work with professionals to decide what goals can look like for you. Maybe it’s to run a 5k, lift a certain amount of weight, or bike a certain trail by the end of the year. Whatever your goals are, it’s important to avoid injury and prioritize how you feel—both mentally and physically.

How to Properly Reopen Your Gym from EZFacility

Increasing Your Gym Capacity? Follow These Steps

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With nearly half of the U.S. population vaccinated over a year after COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns began, most gym owners are beyond ready to fully open their doors. Part of running a successful gym is making sure that every person feels welcome, and now is no different.

While you likely have vocal gym enthusiasts ready to get back into their old routines, remember that there are likely just as many people hesitant about re-joining large indoor groups. Here are 3 ways to properly reopen your gym so that all feel welcome.

1. Maintain Health Standards

Recent studies show that gyms and fitness centers were some of the superspreader sites of spring 2020. Even if your staff are fully vaccinated, consider the benefits of reducing their exposure to colds, flus, and other viruses. Requiring staff to wear a face covering and maintaining safety protocols of cleaning more will not only make members feel more comfortable, but could also reduce lost attendance for both members and employees due to illness.

Help your members and staff continue the health protocols developed over the last year. Here are a few ways to encourage good health habits:

  • Mark circles on the floor in the free weight and floor exercise areas to show people how far apart to maintain social distancing
  • Stagger class start times of classes to reduce the number of people in the locker rooms at one time
  • Increase the number of equipment cleaner stations throughout the gym to make it easier to reach and use
  • Provide virtual streaming access to group classes to reduce the number of people in the room
  • Work with your facilities management to increase ventilation and air filtration in the building
  • Create a plan for what to do if a gym member tests positive for COVID-19

2. Stay Up to Date

In order to both keep your people safe and keep your gym compliant, make sure to stay abreast of public health news in your area. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers resources to businesses specific to industry to help you know what to do to reopen. Review the COVID-19 Employer Information for Gyms and Fitness Centers article to find how to protect your employees and which hazard controls to implement to keep everyone safe.

3. Ask People What They Want

As vaccination rates vary state to state and children are still ineligible to receive the vaccine, there is no one right answer to what will make gym members comfortable again. Send a survey to your email list stating that while you’re following the protocols set by the CDC, you want to hear from them. Ask first how likely they are to return to the gym as well as which safety protocols they’d like to see in place. Some options include smaller group fitness classes, offering times where masks are required, and enforcing physical distancing.

When reviewing survey responses, you may want to give more weight to people more in the middle of the pack in being ready to return. People who respond that they absolutely won’t come back aren’t going to be swayed by wiping down machines more often. And, your most loyal gym attenders are less likely to be kept away by some additional rules. Focus on the people who are hesitant to come, but want to make it work.

Conclusion

While there’s light at the end of the tunnel, the U.S. is far from being past COVID. And, with the increased spread of new variants, it’s important to maintain your commitment to keeping your staff and your members safe at your fitness center. Continue with your existing health protocols, stay up-to-date on changing business guidance from the CDC, and ask your members what would make them comfortable to return to your facilities.

Guidelines for Returning to Physical Activity in a Group Setting from EZFacility

Here’s How to Safely Return to Physical Activity in Groups

« Blog | Written by Amber Wojcek | | (0) Comments

Vaccinated people are now able to spend time indoors, maskless, less than 6 feet apart. For fitness enthusiasts, that means that group classes are back in session! But does that mean that the gym owners, trainers, and employees are ready to be back?

While vaccinations are readily available in the U.S., only about half of Americans are vaccinated. And, people under 16 are not yet eligible (as of writing) and face a higher risk of contracting COVID. So, while your trainers may be safe, they could still be facing a lot of fear around spreading the disease to vulnerable people in their life.

Here are a few ways that you can protect and support your staff and gym members during this time.

1. Help People Ease Back In

Although there were more at-home workout options than ever this past year, people likely weren’t doing as much vigorous activity as before. Consider offering members with consultations to provide activities recommendations and physical activity guidelines to help prevent injury and see results. Plus, offer more classes and workouts at a moderate intensity and check in more with your members who are working at a high intensity.

Additionally, some people may not want to return due to a certain health condition or other reason. No matter how much you tell people to wash your hands, this won’t change. For these members, make it easy for them to leave. They’ll be much more likely to come back when they do feel safe than if you try to argue the point with them.

2. Offer Outdoor Activities

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people re-discovered a love of the great outdoors. Consider offering member activities outside of the facility, like guided hikes, yoga in a park, and group runs. Since people breathe more heavily during aerobic activities, moving them outside can help slow the spread of airborne illnesses. And, by having fewer members in the studio, you’ll be able to maintain physical distancing more easily.

3. Support Mental Health

Although many people are ready to “get back to normal,” 2020 was nothing but normal. Remember that you don’t know everything that everyone is dealing with, whether the loss of loved ones, stress of managing at-home schooling and remote work, or feelings of isolation from spending so much time alone. People joked about gaining the “quarantine fifteen,” but there are more serious cases of anxiety and depression as a result of a year inside.

Keep in mind that being healthy is both physical and mental. Consider offering mental health benefits as part of your employee health insurance and including classes on mindfulness and meditation for your members.

Conclusion

Just like how none of us were prepared for COVID-19, none of us know what to expect next as the world starts reopening. As a gym owner, you’re responsible for the health and well-being of your employees, your members, and by extension, your community. Be empathetic and kind as you help everyone ease back into their fitness routines to help do your part to keep people happy and healthy.

4 Ways to Leverage Former Gym Members for Referrals by EZFacility

4 Ways to Leverage Former Gym Members for Referrals

« Blog | Written by Amber Wojcek | | (0) Comments

When you are a gym owner or manager, you know how vital it is to constantly be bringing in new members. Some members will move, have scheduling issues, or just fall out of their gym routine, and you need to fill those spots with new members. However, former gym members can actually be an excellent source of renewals or referrals. Here’s how you can make the most of your relationship with former gym members.

1. Track Why People Cancel

The first step is to learn why gym-goers are cancelling their membership and track this in your CRM. Some reasons will disqualify people from rejoining, such as if they moved to another city. However, other situations could have changed. Maybe they left halfway through their pregnancy, but it’s been a year and they could be interested in returning. Or perhaps they had a demanding job that took away their time, but now something has changed.

For those members with more temporary reasons for leaving, set a reminder to stay in touch after a certain amount of time. A personal phone call simply to check in on the situation and ask if they’d feel comfortable coming back for a free visit can make all the difference.

Additionally, by tracking why people cancel, you can let them know if a situation changed that could bring them back.

2. Promote Improvements

When a member cancels due to an issue with your fitness business itself, it can feel hard to come back from. However, if in time you’re able to make the improvements a former member was missing, then you should personally let them know. This both tells them that you were listening to their feedback and that you care enough to remember who was impacted.

For instance, maybe a member quit because the fitness classes didn’t work with their schedule or they just weren’t meeting their fitness goals. You can email all the former members who complained about these issues when you add more classes to the schedule or begin providing new fitness plans.

If you aren’t currently sending email blasts, then make sure that you share these changes on social media. Reiterate all the benefits that people get with their gym membership and encourage your gym community to share with their friends.

3. Provide a Special Offer

When it comes to boosting gym membership, nothing quite beats a special offer. People want to experience your gym before committing to a lengthy and expensive contract. Especially if you’ve made improvements to your fitness studio by upgrading equipment or amenities, it’s a great idea to invite former members back for a free personal training session.

Make sure your trainer is prepared not only to provide training but also to listen to and address their concerns. It’s important that these former members feel heard and that you care about their opinions.

While they’re there, consider offering former members with special conditions you wouldn’t give to a new member. Maybe they would come back if they got a month to month gym membership or they want to pay the rate they joined at before. Be flexible and you might just earn back a member for life.

4. Spot Issues Before They Happen

It can be difficult to manage so many pieces of owning a gym business and tracking what each member is doing. But, with gym management software, you can spot reasons people may cancel before they even happen. See which months historically have low member activity, like around winter holidays, and plan promotions for people who come in a certain number of times. Or, if you see your 6:15 classes booking up early every weekday, consider offering a different class at the same time in another area of the gym to provide more options.

At the end of the day, your best target audience for growing membership are the people in your gym. Ask members for feedback throughout the year – not just when they quit. And before you make big decisions like adding fitness centers in a new location, ask existing members what would be best for them.

As an owner or manager, it’s important to monitor satisfaction over time. It’s easier to encourage gym member retention than to try to bring back lapsed members. By keeping members engaged and with communication to former members, you can build strong relationships that make it easier for members to come back when they need to leave.

Own a Yoga Facility? Easily Brush up on Worker Classification with EZFacility

Own a Yoga Facility? Easily Brush up on Worker Classification

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Owning a yoga studio means that you get to enjoy working with people who are all passionate about health. But, as the owner and their boss, you’re responsible for more than making sure their classes get scheduled. While it can be tempting to have everyone classified as an independent contractor, it may not be so simple.

Small businesses may be violating federal law by misclassifying workers and can be subject to serious consequences. Here’s what studio owners need to know about worker classification.

This article is for informational purposes only, and EZFacility does not provide legal advice. Please consult your legal counsel and financial advisor on matters of worker classification.

What’s the Difference?

The biggest difference between employees and contractors is whether the business owner withholds taxes from the worker. Employees are protected by labor laws, such as being paid at least the minimum wage and accessing unemployment insurance if they lose their job. Contractors also are not covered by worker’s compensation or get access to benefits like sick pay or retirement earnings.

In order to keep your business compliant with state and federal laws, it is imperative that you properly report whether a worker is an independent contractor or if a worker is an employee.

Classifying Instructors

Should your yoga instructors be classified as employees? According to the Department of Labor, the driving factor to determine whether your staff should be classified as employees or independent contractors comes down to control. Here are some questions to ask:

  • How much control do I have over my instructors’ work?
  • How am I paying my workers?
  • How permanent is the relationship?
  • How integral is the work to my business?

If you’re setting the schedule for your instructors, paying them by the class, require Yoga Alliance certifications, and have no “end” point set to your relationship, you may be misclassifying your instructors as contractors. After all, your business relies on the instructors to keep people coming to classes.

What Happens When You Misclassify

It should be noted that regardless of what employment forms your instructors complete, your workers are classified based on how your company operates. If a recently fired contractor seeks legal counsel to fight for unpaid overtime, for instance, the court will investigate whether you should have treated them as employees. That’s how IRS audits and class action lawsuits can result in tens to hundreds of thousands owed in back taxes for business owners.

Even if you won a case against a former contractor, remember that your local yoga community is likely a tight-knit group. Any time someone argues that they were mistreated by a business, it will result in a huge hit to your reputation. It’s best to do right by your team from the beginning and make sure your yoga studio is compliant with labor laws.

Simplify Team Management

Overwhelmed with managing your instructors and studio? Consider investing in our yoga studio management software. In addition to features that will keep your members happy, you’ll be able to access payroll and commission tracking in the same app you use to schedule classes and take payments.

emerging fitness technology

At-Home Wellness is Now Easier Than Ever

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When most people think of getting or staying healthy, they probably picture a line of treadmills at the gym or bulky weight equipment. However, it’s easier than ever to stay fit and track results from your home. You don’t even need a ton of extra space to develop a full-body wellness routine and monitor your success. Best of all, as technology develops it’s more accessible than ever. Here are a few fitness technology essentials to build your wellness routine.

Tech to Monitor Progress and Track Results

It can be difficult to understand just how much progress you’ve made if you never measured where you started. Here are a few items to replace the tracking you would get with a personal trainer or the gym:

Smart Scale

A smart scale does more than just monitor weight. They can also determine body composition, including muscle and body fat percentages as well as bone mass and water percentage. For those who are looking to gain muscle and not just lose fat, or are worried about a weight plateau, a smart scale is a vital upgrade from the traditional bathroom scale.

Additionally, smart scales use bluetooth to sync results to your phone so you can track progress over time. They’re even smart enough to track multiple people, so one scale can help the whole family stay on track. And many smart scales can sync directly to your other fitness devices for a holistic view of your health and fitness.

Fitness Trackers

Combine the smart scale with a wearable fitness tracker to see the whole picture of your fitness journey. Some of the most popular wearables are the Apple Watch and Fitbit Charge, which each include a heart rate monitor and automatically track workouts. Newer versions of each are also waterproof. However, the two high tech watches have key differences to keep in mind when deciding between them.

Apple Watch

The Apple Watch is first and foremost a smartphone companion, which works primarily with Apple devices. It comes with the Nike+ app, Apple Activity app, and can work with a number of additional fitness apps on the app store. The newest iteration also includes an ECG application in addition to the standard heart rate monitor, heart rate sensor, and step counters.

However, its best features are not fitness related, like Apple Pay, Siri, and a number of touch screen apps available through your iPhone. The Apple Watch is a great pick if you’re looking for an everyday wearable that also happens to track fitness – and if you don’t mind spending a bit more.

Fitbit Charge

Meanwhile, the Fitbit Charge puts smart fitness first, with its incredible 7-day battery life, built-in sleep tracker, and 20+ goal-based exercise modes. The newest version includes GPS to automatically track workouts, and the Active Zone Minutes feature monitors your heart rate and alerts you when you’ve reached your target heart rate zone during a workout.

The Fitbit Charge isn’t a fully-fledged smart watch, however. While you’ll get call and text alerts to your synced device, you can’t access any apps that do not come with the device. The display is smaller and monochrome, as it puts function above form; the screen shape fits the wrist beautifully while the LED screen is easy to read even in direct outdoor light.

Whichever fitness tech you choose, you’ll be glad to have your activity tracked in real time and remove the extra work logging your next workout.

Build Out Your Home Gym

Now that you’re ready to track your workouts and results, let’s dive into how you can turn your living room into a full-body home gym. Most virtual classes don’t require any equipment, but you may want to invest in some resistance bands, dumbbells, and a yoga mat that you can stash away when not in use.

Fitness Classes

There are more online fitness classes than ever and for a fraction of the cost of in-person fitness classes. When choosing your digital training sessions, try to choose ones from a reputable source and not just what pops into your YouTube feed. You want to know that who is building the routines knows how to avoid injury and properly demonstrate activities

Here are a few popular choices that you can stream or cast to devices like Roku and smart TVs:

  • The OrangeTheory YouTube channel (Free): When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down studios, OrangeTheory rose to the challenge and began publishing daily full-body workouts for their members. Today, there are dozens of daily workouts plus extra challenges. However, there is a chance that they could remove these videos once restrictions are lifted and gyms return to full capacity.
  • The Peloton App ($12.99/month): You don’t have to own the pricey home bicycle to access Peloton’s comprehensive app. You’ll get access to thousands of live and on-demand classes, including outdoor running, strength training, bootcamp, yoga, and meditation. Non-peloton stationary bike owners often use a tablet to ride with the classes; however, without a Peloton you won’t be able to participate in challenges or the leaderboard.
  • Daily Burn ($14.95-$19.95/month): Daily Burn offers a wide range of fitness videos, from beginner classes and dance workouts up to HIIT and advanced strength training. Its live Daily 365 videos are like joining in on a group workout class, which pump up the motivation and keep your daily workouts fresh.

Meet with a Personal Trainer

Just because you’re not going to a gym doesn’t mean you can’t work with a personal trainer to achieve your goals. With personal training, you’ll have an expert by your side to monitor your metrics and help develop a targeted workout routine and even an eating plan. You’ll be able to make the most out of all the fitness technology above while focusing on the results you want to see.

For personal trainers looking for the best tech to improve their business operations including scheduling, billing, and client management including fitness assessments, try the EZFacility app for Personal Trainers. You’ll save time and be able to spend more energy focusing on your clients.

2021 guide to off-ice hockey training

Off-Ice Hockey Training Guide for 2021

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Whether your rink isn’t up to full capacity yet or if you just want a change of scenery, there are plenty of ways off the ice to prepare for your next hockey game. Try out one of these dryland training routines next time you want a break from your hockey facility.

Don’t forget to warm up and stretch before and cooldown and stretch after you work out to avoid injury and get the most out of your efforts.

Plyometric Exercises

Plyometric training is great for honing the muscles that exert a lot of force in a short period of time. It helps hockey players improve strength and agility. This allows them to be able to change direction quickly, get quick bursts of speed, and build endurance.

Try integrating the following plyometric exercises into your training program:

  • Jump squats and squat jumps
  • Box jumps
  • Lateral skater jumps
  • Clap push ups
  • Lunges and reverse lunges
  • Tuck jumps
  • Squat thrusts

Balance and Coordination Exercises

The great thing about hockey is that so many skills are transferable on and off the ice. Try these exercises with your hockey stick and a ball to increase hand-eye coordination:

Hand Swap

Grab your hockey stick with one palm up and one palm down, keeping the stick level in front of you. Then, change your hand positions as quickly as possible.

Throw/Catch

Simply find a wall and throw a ball at it and catch it as it returns. For more of a challenge, try standing on a wobble board to also work your core while improving coordination. If you have a partner to work with, try having one throw the ball while the other person rebounds using their hockey stick.

Walking Squats/Stickhandle

While stickhandling a ball, slowly walk forward and bend into a squat. As you squat, the ball will travel further from your body. Control the ball as you rise out of the squat, walk backward, and squat again.

Stickhandle Wobble Board

Stand on a wobble board as you stickhandle. As you grow more proficient, alternate standing on only one foot as you do this.

Core Conditioning Exercises

Every hockey player knows that the sport requires your whole body to be at its best to succeed. Not only do physically fit players perform better, but incorporating conditioning exercises also helps prevent injuries. Try incorporating the following outdoor activities into your hockey training:

  • Cycling
  • Jogging
  • Swimming
  • Soccer

Off-Ice Stickhandling

Of course, as a hockey player you’ll want to work on your stickwork, whether on or off the ice.

Narrow and Wide

Start by working a ball in a narrow pattern, then widening before narrowing again. Try making up your own cadences and combinations to focus on quick changes and maintaining control.

Side/Front/Side

Start by stickhandling on the backhand side, then moving to the front, and finally moving to the forehand side. You can then reverse back through the stages.

One Leg

Follow the pattern above while standing on one leg, then alternating to the other.

One Hand

Try stickhandling the ball with one hand to gain strength for when a situation happens on the ice where you only have one hand on the stick. Alternate hands to gain control using either hand.

Join Your Team

While there are numerous exercises you can do alone, nothing beats learning just how your hockey team works together. Practice passing from different angles and directions to learn how to react when a pucl comes at you in a game. Build muscle memory in your forehand and backhand passes by working together.

Ice Rink Management

Do you manage an ice rink and need to be able to schedule ice times, training, and classes? Manage everything from your skate rentals to your snack bar and everything in between with the simple to use EZFacility software for ice rinks.

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Own a Fitness Brand? Here are the Benefits to Going Digital

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After a year of COVID, more and more gyms have had to close their doors. However, with the shift to working from home and to socializing online, digital adoption of online services is higher than ever before. That means that gyms and studios have a unique opportunity to reach more people than ever before with a digital fitness brand.

Benefits of Going Digital

As a gym owner or operator, you’re used to having the most important goal being how many people are coming in your doors week after week. And when you run digital platforms, usage rates will still be an important metric. However, when you offer a digital fitness brand, you will have access to so many more data points to track business success, monitor progress, and identify opportunities to either further engage active members or recapture the interest of people who aren’t using the platform. 

When your gym offers any kind of fitness technology – whether it is an online fitness class or the ability to track health metrics – you get to learn a lot more about your members than if they simply walked in the door of your class. For instance, some video platforms allow you to see in real time how many people are watching a video, who is watching, and how far they watch or what areas they fast-forward through. 

Thanks to the proliferation of fitness wearables like the Apple Watch and FitBit, people have more access to their health data than ever before. Whether you’re working with fitness platforms that allow you to directly sync that data or ask people to self-report, you’ll be able to learn a lot about who your most active clients are and who could be in danger of cancelling. Even without seeing their specific data, just by identifying who is and isn’t tracking data, logging workouts, and watching classes, you’ll be able to know how people are doing.

For those who are most active year over year, you can send messaging around referring friends, upgrading their membership, or just congratulating them on being a power user. And for members that are less engaged, you can send alerts about new home workouts, motivation to get back to classes, or offer one-on-one coaching.

What People Want from Fitness Brands

When you’re moving from being exclusively a gym into becoming an at-home fitness company, people are looking for more than just a workout video. After all, social media websites like YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest are already full of online workouts for free. Think about what people will miss about going to the gym and imagine how you can bring that to people.

For instance, a lot of people love the sense of camaraderie with their classmates and the community built around going to the gym. While your members are working out in their living rooms, how can you replicate this? Perhaps you build a private Facebook group for your members to connect and share successes and struggles. Maybe you schedule live group fitness classes over Zoom instead of offering just videos on demand.

The other obvious benefit of going to a gym is access to a wide range of fitness equipment. While some people may have a home gym and there are more people than ever investing in a stationary bike, the fact remains that home fitness equipment is an expensive investment that takes a lot of space.

It’s important that fitness brands offer home workouts that are accessible to every member. Consider what items you can suggest from around the house that people use for strength training, like a gallon of water or a backpack with books. Offer cardio activities that won’t disturb downstairs neighbors of apartment-dwellers. Whatever your home exercise plan is, remember to adapt it to people’s real lives.

Finding Success

At the end of the day, the fitness industry is a competitive space. In many ways, managing a digital brand will be much more difficult than running an in-person only studio. Here are a few ways you can establish and grow your brand:

  • Develop a social media presence on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook to help members stay connected and reach new potential members
  • Explore how email marketing can reach prospects, connect with members, and re-engage less active members
  • Think about your branding – is it catchy and memorable? Think about if it’s time to overhaul your colors, logo, or even your name before you expand
  • Update your website to make it easy for members to schedule consultations, sign up for special classes, and pay their membership fees
  • Diversify revenue by offering branded workout gear, finding referral partners, and developing personalized classes

Even as people stop social distancing and start returning to the studio, you’ll find that a lot of people have come to prefer the flexibility that at-home workouts provide. By investing in digital marketing and operations, you’ll be able to maximize both in-studio and online memberships.

You’ll want to ensure that you have time to focus on all the channels your brand appears on. One way you can do this is by simplifying your administrative tasks. All-in-one platforms make it easy to manage memberships, relationships, and finances all while getting access to a customized app and website for your fitness brand.