WSU offering online fitness classes during time of social distancing

A woman working out at home.
Fitness instructors across the WSU system continue to put on classes like yoga and Zumba, albeit alone and often from the comfort of their own homes.

Just because your fitness center is closed doesn’t mean you can’t get moving by participating in your favorite group exercise class.

Fitness instructors across the WSU system continue to put on classes like yoga and Zumba, albeit alone and often from the comfort of their own homes. Students, faculty, staff and even WSU alumni can tune into the live classes as well as recorded sessions to ensure they stay active during this period of social distancing.

No need for sore knees

Robert Yarbrough is a lab manager for the Institute of Biological Chemistry by day, and a fitness instructor by night. He started teaching fitness classes at WSU in October of 2015, specifically targeting older faculty members and staff who want to remain active without waking up after classes with achy knees and joints.

“I’m currently teaching Tai Chi, yoga and Zumba Gold,” Yarbrough said. “I have my laptop set up on a podium, and I’m the only one in the room doing classes, which led to a funny look from a passerby last week when I was hosting my Zumba Gold class.”

Despite the changes necessary amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Yarbrough continues to teach his classes Monday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Those interested in learning more can contact him at

UREC offerings

Joanne Greene, program director for University Recreation, taught her first online yoga class last week as part of Daily Coug Connect.

“I tested my home setup a bunch of different times, looking for good lighting, a good background, and even setting up my laptop to give the best view of the movements as possible,” Greene said.

One of her student instructors has gone further, using a two-camera setup for their classes to ensure the best possible view for participants.

Danielle Keerbs, a junior studying wildlife ecology, perches her laptop on top of a fish tank in order for viewers to see the moves she’s demonstrating during her classes. She’s currently teaching a floor-based version of her regular pole fitness class, as well as yoga for strength athletes.

“I’d never taught pole fitness floor class, so it was challenging for me to adapt my personal style, and take everything I know from doing pole classes to only making floor-based chirographies,” she said. “It’s taken me a few hours messing around with a song to figure out a good choreography.”

Doing these fitness classes is how Keerbs is coping with the current Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, and she encourages others to get active as a way of mitigating the quarantine blues.

Since closing down its facilities in March, UREC has sought to offer as many of its services as possible online. IM sports leagues for video games are active, as are several workout classes that regularly take place in the Student Recreation Center or Chinook Student Center.

A complete list of available classes can be found on UREC’s website.

WSU is also among more than 40 universities participating in the National Intramural and Recreation Sports Association’s Recreation Movement program. Anyone with an .edu email address is able to participate in the program, which offers a wealth of exercise challenges and classes from member organizations. The goal of the program is to log 5 million minutes of exercise activity between April 6 and May 3.

More information can be found on the program’s website.

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