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Little Rock fitness programs open for virtual classes

Little Rock gyms and studios are proving that gyms may be canceled, but fitness isn’t.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — While people across the country are staying home to practice social distancing, staying in shape can be challenging. 

Governor Asa Hutchinson ordered the closure of gyms last week, but they are able to keep their doors open thanks to technology and a little creativity.

Melissa Smith is the owner and an instructor of Little Rock's Fit4Mom.

"It was important that we continue to stick together and continue to support and encourage each other,” Smith said.

With some changes, she found a way to keep the program going. 

“Utilizing water bottles as our weights or our resistance bands,” Smith said.

The gym is now virtual and the team uses Zoom video conferencing to hold classes. 

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“We’re used to doing these classes in really big parks, so we go from one part of the park all the way to the other part of the park, and now we’ve adjusted in place cardio movements that can be done in just a little environment,” Smith said.

Fit4Mom provides prenatal and postnatal fitness for moms, something she said is needed in a stressful time.

“We were going to have to change everything even though most of our workouts are done outside, it was important to me and to everyone that we continue to stay safe and continue to flatten the curve,” Smith said.

The team is doing what it can to encourage social distancing beyond fitness.

“It’s important for our village to connect outside of being a mom and it just reminding each other of who we were before we were mothers. So, I came up with virtual mom’s night in and coffee chats, and we’re still doing play dates with our little ones over the computer,” Smith said.

ATA Martial Arts in Little Rock is also helping students by posting tutorials on their Facebook page.

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“Our marketing department and our media department have been working nonstop at putting together a myriad of videos from our traditional taekwondo classes to family fitness classes,” training instructor Jharen Haynes said.

He said it’s important to keep working towards your goal, even if the process looks a little different.

“Everything we do revolves around coming together and being a community and so now it’s showing that same tenacity and determination but from the comfort of our home,” Haynes said. 

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