Which pain is worth disclosing?

Expert insight:

Letting your instructors know about physical aches allows them to push you within your limits, says Dana McCaw, senior manager of group fitness programming at Equinox in Beverly Hills. It also helps them understand why you aren’t following along with the rest of the class when you have to make modifications.

It's worth disclosing your pain or discomfort if it ranks five or higher on a scale of one to 10, especially for body parts that are highly engaged during the particular class you're taking, McCaw says. These are the muscles and joints that are most important, by class: 

Cycling: neck, hips, and groin (you may be advised to stay in your saddle) 

Precision Run: back, knees, and ankles, all of which are highly involved in the biomechanics of running

HIIT and strength: shoulders and knees, which are often activated in loaded exercises 

Yoga: neck, shoulders, or back, so your instructor can suggest regressions for poses like backbends and inversions

If you’re pregnant, share this in every class, McCaw adds. Your instructor will modify rotational movements and be more mindful of keeping the room cool.

The bottom line:

If you don’t feel comfortable highlighting your pain in front of everyone at the beginning of class, get there a few minutes early so you can speak about it privately, McCaw says. If a supposed healed injury acts up mid-class, wave the instructor over and let them know.