The YMCA's goal is to help members become regular exercisers by focusing on the quality of the exercise experience. We believe that encouragement and guidance built into your exercise experience will support you to develop positive behaviours and a healthy lifestyle.
State-of-the-Art Equipment At each YMCA Branch, our fitness centres feature the latest in strength training and aerobic conditioning equipment including treadmills, bikes, stair climbers, rowing machines and cross trainers.
Expert Staff YMCA fitness centre staff have a university degree in physical education and/or national YMCA certification in strength training. These qualified staff can develop an exercise program tailored to your individual needs and can assist to set goals, identify barriers and strategies and evaluate your progress.
A Shared Experience During peak times, a 30 minute time limit per person is applied to the use of the cardio equipment. This ensures that all members have fair access to equipment. A sign-up board is provided and monitored by YMCA staff.
To maintain a high standard of cleanliness and safety for everyone, members are asked to use towels provided to wipe down equipment after each use. Free Weights should be returned to their stands after each use. When others are waiting to use strength conditioning equipment, consider offering to let them "work in." This means that both you and the waiting member use the equipment, alternating sets. Rather than resting on equipment between sets, sharing equipment in this way allows everyone better access to equipment. For a complete list of equipment and services, visit one of our six membership branches. Please note that equipment types and styles may vary from Branch to Branch.
Let us help
Adopting exercise into your lifestyle will make you feel better, give you more energy and greatly reduce your risk for developing many chronic diseases. We want to support and assist members to make sure that exercise becomes a part of their everyday activities. Y programs and staff offer guidance, motivation, and structure to help members start and stick with a fitness routine.
Individual and Group orientations to the fitness centre, are led by a YMCA fitness professional and are offered to all YMCA members. You will learn basic exercise principles with emphasis on strength, cardiovascular, and flexibility techniques. For more information, please contact any YMCA Branch.
Youth Members aged 13-15 are required to attend a Youth Fitness Centre Orientation for safety reasons, before they are permitted to use the Fitness Centre. After taking the orientation, youth members receive a shoe tag which allows them privileges, excluding the free weight room. Shoe tags must be worn when in the YMCA. For more information, please contact any YMCA Branch.
For a complete overview of "Get Started" options, visit one of our five membership branches. Please note that orientation styles and scheduling may vary from Branch to Branch. St. Catharines | Welland/Pelham | Niagara Falls | Fort Erie | Grimsby/West Lincoln | Port Colborne Return To Top
YMCA Group Fitness classes give you a chance to meet people, improve you fitness level, and have fun! Members are encouraged to work at their own pace. Ask your fitness instructor for assistance or exercise information at any time. Most of our classes include cardiovascular, muscular strength/endurance, and stretching components. YMCA fitness volunteers and staff are trained and certified as YMCA Fitness instructors.
Who Can Participate?
All members 16 years of age and older are invited to join any fitness classes. Members need not register for a class. Youth members 13 - 15 years of age can attend fitness classes after completing a Youth Fitness Orientation and receiving a shoe tag.
Classes may vary at each Centre - please refer to the fitness schedule for specific times.
Learn to... Classes will teach you the basics of different group fitness classes. Please check the program event board each week to see which style of class is being featured. A great way to try something new.
Hi-Lo Classes put your entire favourite high and low impact aerobics together giving you lots of choice and variety in your workout.
Step Step class involves stepping up and down in different combinations on a step. The step height can be adjusted for your fitness level and promotes cardiovascular training with variety.
Box Fit This is a challenging workout, shaping shoulders, upper back, abs and legs with a series of jabs, hooks, punches and kicks. You can achieve endurance, balance, strength and stability.
Body Sculpting or Express Strength These classes provide overall body toning and conditioning using free weights, stability balls and other fitness equipment, with emphasis on muscular strength and endurance, postural awareness and stretching.
Core Fusion This mind-body class incorporates Yoga and Pilates inspired moves to promote core conditioning.
On the Ball Adding the ball into your workout increases your mind/body awareness, core strength, balance and flexibility as you perform the work on an unstable base of support.
Cardio Mix This blend of hi-lo impact aerobics, step, athletic moves, boxfit and more gives you something different all the time.
Athletic Hour A sports conditioning circuit class, without choreography, is designed to help you develop muscular strength, endurance, flexibility and balance.
Power Mix A blend of hi-lo, step and box fit cardio to move and energize you.
Abs Blast This class concentrates on sculpting the abdominal muscles and focusing on core stability.
Gentle Fit This class is designed to improve cardiovascular flow, range of motion and strength levels. Great for those new to exercise or with joint problems.
Yoga Fitness Based on traditional yoga postures, this class focuses on strength, flexibility, breathing and relaxation techniques.
For a complete listing of current aerobic and step classes available, visit one of our five membership branches ordownload a current schedule. Please note that class types and styles may vary from Branch to Branch. St. Catharines | Welland/Pelham | Niagara Falls | Fort Erie | Grimsby/West Lincoln | Port Colborne Return To Top
Aquafit Aqua Fitness includes a cardio, stretching and strength component in the swimming pool. Since exercise in the water reduces the impact on joints, it is a gentle yet effective way to achieve fitness. Members may choose between shallow water aquafit or deep water aquafit, which requires some swimming ability.
Shallow Aquafit allows participants to perform many high impact cardio movements that can still be low impact with less chance of injury. The floor of the pool gives participants a sense of security and familiarity, especially those with weak swimming skills.
The focus of this class is on cardiovascular movements incorporating core stability and actively using abdominals. By having a class that depends on buoyancy eliminates the impact forces but still creates a challenge. Participants will struggle to stabilize their centre of buoyancy and maintain a vertical alignment.
Aquafit in Moderation
Ideal for adults looking for a more subdued or moderate class. This class is shallow specific, combining moderate cardiovascular conditioning while increasing range of motion. Many movements used in a shallow aquafit class are adapted to meet the needs of participants with less intensity.
For a complete listing of current Aquafit classes available, visit one of our five membership branches or download a current pool schedule. Please note that class types and styles may vary from Branch to Branch. St. Catharines | Welland/Pelham | Niagara Falls | Fort Erie | Grimsby/West Lincoln | Port Colborne Return To Top
For many older adults, even the simplest daily tasks become a chore. Climbing stairs, reaching up to a top shelf, getting out of a chair or lifting a bag of groceries can be almost impossible for some older adults who have experienced a loss of strength, flexibility and endurance. The good news is that seniors can improve their health and do those daily tasks with greater ease by participating in a regular exercise program. This increase in physical ability also increases their independence.
This exercise class is designed to increase flexibility, functional strength and endurance. Qualified instructors will lead participants through a variety of exercises using music and equipment for inspiration, motivation and assistance. Classes available at all branches and vary according to participants needs.
Aqua Fitness includes a cardio, stretching and strength component in the swimming pool. Since exercise in the water reduces the impact on joints, it is a gentle yet effective way to achieve fitness. Members may choose between shallow water Aquafit or deep water Aquafit, which requires some swimming ability, and Aquafit in Moderation.
For a complete listing of current senior classes available, visit one of our five membership branches or download a current schedule. Please note that class types and styles may vary from branch to branch.
Available at all YMCA of Niagara Branches
Track Etiquette and Safety Adults, students and youth aged 13-15 who have completed a Youth Fitness Centre Orientation have track privileges. On Sundays child members aged 6+ years may use the track when supervised within arm's reach of a parent/guardian who is also a member. Check the specific times at each branch.
There are lanes to suit your needs: walking, running and passing. (The Niagara Centre YMCA does not have a running lane due to the configuration of the track around the gym.) The outside lane has been designated as the walking lane as it includes a hand guide rail. Please use the lanes as designated above the track. The running/walking direction on the track changes every day, so be certain to check the direction arrow before stepping onto the track. You are also asked to signal your intention to pass, change lanes or leave the track by raising your hand and checking behind you before proceeding. As a courtesy to other members, when using the track with a partner, run/walk one behind the other rather than side by side.
What to Wear
Clean, non-marking running shoes are required to protect the specialized flooring. The YMCA also requires members to wear a t-shirt and tights, shorts or sweat pants. Running Outside The YMCA makes a great beginning and ending place for runners and walkers. Please remember to wear your locker key. Return To Top
YMCA Fitness Leadership Training Program
The YMCA has a long history of encouraging individuals to assume responsibility for themselves and the welfare of others. The YMCA developed the first nationally recognized fitness leadership program and continues to train fitness leaders around the world. This certification training program will teach you how to design and lead an effective group fitness class. This course is offered for YMCA members only.
Prerequisites: 16+years and current YMCA member.
Notes: 100% attendance and participation required. Apprenticeship and practicum hours completed outside of course time. Course end date for group fitness instructor specialization is dependent on chosen stream.
Spring 2013 Course
Course Fee: $110 + HST
Dates: Saturday, April 6 & 13, 9:00am - 6:00pm
Location: Niagara Centre YMCA Branch, 310 Woodlawn Road, Welland
YMCA Group Fitness Instructor
Prerequisite: completion of YMCA Fitness Leadership Training Program - Basic Theory
YMCA Group Fundamentals
Course Fee: $20 + HST
Dates: Saturday, April 20, 9:00am - 6:00pm
Location: Niagara Centre Branch, 310 Woodlawn Road, Welland
YMCA Group Fitness Streams
Each stream focuses on the skills needed to instruct the specific type of class. Choose from: aquatic fitness, group chorography, group cycle, group resistance, group core stretch and strength
Prerequisite: current certification as a YMCA Group Fitness Instructor - Basic Theory & Group Fundamentals
Course Fee: $20 + HST per stream
Notes: 100% attendance and participation required. Apprenticeship and practicum hours completed outside of course time. Each stream will be offered at a different YMCA of Niagara Branch and travel may be necessary. Course end date is dependent on chosen stream.
Group Choreography: Sunday, April 28, 9:00am - 6:00pm, St. Catharines Walker Family YMCA
Group Cycle: Saturday, April 27, 9:00am - 3:00pm, St. Catharines Walker Family YMCA
Aquatic Fitness: Sunday, May 5, 9:00am - 6:00pm, Niagara Centre YMCA
Group Core Stretch & Strength: Saturday, April 27, 9:00am - 6:00pm, Niagara Centre YMCA
Group Resistance: Sunday, May 5, 9:00am - 6:00pm, Niagara Falls YMCA
YMCA Individual Conditioning Level II
Prerequisite: completion of YMCA Fitness Leadership Training Program - Basic Theory
Course Fee: $40 + HST
Dates: Not offered in Spring