Info About Free Online Personal Training Courses and Classes
Although it can be challenging to find free online personal training courses, individual exercise routines and professional development materials are available from a limited number of organizations and universities. In general, the materials are geared towards those who are interested in pursuing a self-guided exercise program or would like to teach others how to become more active and fit.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals who are interested in becoming fitness instructors or trainers typically must be certified. While the resources below do not include any free online certification courses or lead to credit, the Institute for Credentialing Excellence provides a list of qualified programs that have been approved by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.
American Council on Exercise
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) provides certification and physical education programs to both consumers and professionals. Resources for consumers include individual exercises and routines. The ACE Core Workout is a series of four exercises that can help promote mobility and stability in the upper torso. Each presentation includes the type of muscle that will be exercised, step-by-step instructions and a motion-based demonstration of the routine. Several warm-up and cool-down exercises are also suggested.
The Total Body Workout is designed to define and strengthen all of the body's major muscles and consists of ten different routines. Like the core workout, this series can be performed up to three times a week. Along with the routines, ACE offers an online Exercise Library that provides print and motion-based exercises for specific muscle groups. These include exercises for the abs, arms, back and legs covering beginning, intermediate and advanced levels of fitness.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
The OpenCourseWare (OCW) program at MIT is designed to provide online learners with free access to lectures and videos. Individual OCW courses may differ from those offered on site, and students may not be able to interact with MIT faculty.
The undergraduate class in Physical Intelligence uses activities, exercises and readings to explore the relationship between the body and the mind. Included in the lecture notes are topics on complex coordination, gravity, human development and perception, among others. The original assignments took place in the institute's gymnasium, and students may not be able to replicate them at home.
Weight Training is a 12-session course that can accommodate both beginning and experienced weight lifters who have not been formally trained. Exercise videos include demonstrations of curls, lunges, presses and squats with emphasis on the arms, back, chest and legs. The class also includes a substantial reading list.
National Strength and Conditioning Association
The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is an international education and research organization that offers free online videos for use by consumers and professionals. The organization's Multimedia page provides access to a number of Exercise Techniques that include biceps curls, depth jumps, front squats, high-back bar squats and pull-ups. The videos for each exercise are less than two minutes in length and provide both a print and a visual demonstration of the routine.
The Open University
The Open University is based in the United Kingdom. Although online learners do not have to sign up to view the materials, the benefits of registration include access to self-assessments, learning tools and the Learning Space community.
Exploring Sport Online is a 5-hour, introductory-level class that approaches the study of sports from a scientific point of view. Students will have a chance to learn about the various systems that make up the human machine, especially those related to circulation and respiration. Aerobic Fitness is also an introductory-level class. In addition to basic information about aerobic exercise, the class addresses the frequency, intensity and type of exercises different people should perform.