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Specialty Classes

Programs and services of the UFC are open to all people eligible for membership. Unless stated otherwise, current membership to participate in Specialty programs is not required. Non-members are welcome to participate in these complementary wellness programs at the non-member rate.

How do these Specialty programs differ from our Group Fitness offerings?

Our Specialty classes have a defined start and ending point and are often multi-week sessions, decreasing the intimidation factor of diving into an already established, on-going class. A key focus of each Specialty program is a progressive learning component so participants gain understanding in addition to activity skill-building. Additionally, some Specialty classes may be targeted towards further development of specific training methods or sports skills.


Unless indicated otherwise, registration for each program will close one-week prior to the start date.

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Specialty Classes Offered

Basketball Injury Prevention Workshop Expand answer

Are you warming up properly to shoot hoops and reduce your chances of getting hurt? This upcoming workshop will teach you the fundamentals of an effective, risk-reducing warm up routine that’s perfect for basketball. Learn and ask questions about stretching techniques and modifications, and the benefits of stretching and injury prevention. You will gain more confidence and knowledge going into your next hoop session.

  • Saturday February 17
  • 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
  • Instructor: Jose Rojas

Basketball Injury Prevention Workshop – UFC Member ($25.00)

Basketball Injury Prevention Workshop – Non-Member ($40.00)

Begin with Balance Expand answer

Maintaining good balance is the key to functioning well and keeping a good quality of life. Worried about your balance and looking to improve stability? This introductory balance workshop is perfect for you! Learn and practice exercises that will:

  • Improve joint mobility and stability
  • Promote coordination
  • Improve balance
  • Develop flexibility

This workshop is appropriate for anyone at any age as balance is a vital aspect of fitness and health. Whether walking across the room, going up the stairs, or running a marathon, you need good balance. Studies have shown that balance can start to decrease as early as 50 years old and continues to decrease exponentially. The components of good balance include a strong musculoskeletal system, healthy nervous and vestibular systems, and flexibility. By training and practicing balance, falls and injuries are reduced, and long-term health is maintained. In this workshop, you can expect to complete activities such as squats, walking lunges, single leg standing activities, and more to help strengthen and develop all the components needed for healthy balance. Start your balance journey today!

  • Tuesday January 30: 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
  • Thursday February 1: 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
  • Instructor: Liz Leedy
  • *Same workshop offered twice

Begin with Balance Workshop – UFC Member ($25.00) – Tuesday Session

Begin with Balance Workshop – Non-Member (40.00) – Tuesday Session

Begin with Balance Workshop – UFC Member ($25.00) – Thursday Session 2/1/2024

Begin with Balance Workshop – Non-Member ($40.00) – Thursday Session 2/1/2024

Brain Health through Fitness Expand answer

Did you know that cognitive decline is almost twice as common among adults who are inactive as compared to those who are active? The brain is the most important organ in the body. According to the CDC, 1 in 9 people over the age of 45 have subjective cognitive decline. However, studies show there is approximately a 20-30% lower risk of depression and dementia for adults participating in daily physical activity. Brain Health through Fitness will educate participants about the aging brain and how specific types of exercise assist in combatting cognitive decline. In this 6-week session, you will learn:

  • How exercise improves blood flow leading to better brain health
  • How exercise reduces inflammation and stress
  • Learn what intensity and how much exercise you need to positively impact brain function
  • Come away with exercises that will not only help increase balance, flexibility, and strength, but also improve agility and reaction time

It is never too late to start exercising to improve your body or brain and this class will help get you started safely on the path to better brain health. Come learn more about this upcoming class at the FREE intro session!

  • Intro Session: Tuesday January 16 at 10:00 a.m.
  • 6-Week Session: February 6 – March 12
  • 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
  • Instructor: Rob Mikesell

Brain Health through Fitness – UFC Member ($70.00)

Brain Health through Fitness – Non-Member ($85.00)

Feet Need Exercise, Too Workshops Expand answer

The foot is a complex mechanical structure comprising of over 30 joints, 26 bones, and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments that all must work together for multiple functions. Studies have found that foot pain affects one in four adults after age 45, and is somewhat disabling in two-thirds of those cases. Foot pain in older adults is also associated with a 62% increased risk of recurrent falls. This workshop will address the base of support for our body – the feet! You will learn and come away with exercises for flexibility and mobility of this often-overlooked vital component of our physical structure.

  • Wednesday March 13: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday March 19: 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
  • Instructor: Jen Price
  • *Same workshop offered twice

Feet Need Exercise Too, Workshop – UFC Member ($25.00) – Wed 3/13/2024

Feet Need Exercise Too, Workshop – Non-Member ($40.00) – Wed 3/13/2024

Feet Need Exercise Too, Workshop – UFC Member ($25.00) – Tuesday 3/19/24

Feet Need Exercise Too, Workshop – Non-Member ($40.00) – Tuesday 3/19/2024

Foam Rolling for Injury Prevention & Recovery Workshops Expand answer

It is likely that at some point in your fitness journey you have experienced post-workout or delayed muscle soreness. Did you know that foam rolling (self-myofascial release) can help? Benefits of foam rolling or SMR include:

  • Decreased muscle pain, tightness, and inflammation
  • Increased Range of Motion
  • Increased blood flow to the muscles
  • Aid in recovery and relaxation

We will go over foam rolling do’s and don’ts as well as cover specific foam rolling techniques for various areas of the body. This workshop will be limited to eight participants for hands on instruction.

  • Wednesday April 10: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday April 16: 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
  • Instructor: Jen Price
  • *Same workshop offered twice

Foam Rolling Workshop – UFC Member ($25.00) – 4/10/24

Foam Rolling Workshop – Non-Member ($40.00) – 4/10/24

Foam Rolling Workshop 2 – UFC Member ($25.00) – 4/16/2024

Foam Rolling Workshop 2- Non-Member ($40.00) – 4/16/2024

Intro/Beginner Pickleball Workshops Expand answer

Join our introductory/beginner Pickleball workshops, instructed by Hershey Medical Center researcher Dr. Brett Gordon, an expert in the mental health benefits of exercise. Enjoy an exciting, accessible, 2-hour workshop designed for those who have never played before, or those who want to learn the basic fundamentals. We will cover the rules, scoring, how to play with a partner, strategy, drills, and follow-up with supervised live play. All equipment is provided – just bring yourself for a fantastic, fun-filled learning experience! Each workshop is limited to eight people so register today for one of these upcoming dates.

  • Saturdays: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
  • February 3
  • March 2
  • March 30
  • Instructor: Dr. Brett Gordon

Intro/Beginner Pickleball Workshop 2 – UFC Member ($25.00)

Intro/Beginner Pickleball Workshop 2 – Non-Member ($40.00)

Intro/Beginner Pickleball Workshop 3 – UFC Member ($25.00)

Intro/Beginner Pickleball Workshop 3 – Non-Member ($40.00)

T’ai Chi & Qigong Workshops Expand answer

Taijiquan & Qigong Basics – But Not Just for Beginners Explore the benefits of taijiquan (t’ai chi ch’uan) and qigong (chi kung) with Juli McGreevy in these workshops. Whether you have heard about how great taijiquan and qigong are for exercise and relaxation or you have been practicing one or both of these arts already, there is something for you in these workshops. Each workshop has its own focus but participants can attend any or all of the series. The beauty of learning taijiquan and qigong is that you can adjust the practice to your own needs for stress management, balance, strength, relaxation, and flexibility.

  • Sundays: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
  • January 21: The Five-Element Stepping Form is a great overview of how taijiquan and qigong teach stress management and challenge your balance and brain.
  • February 18: Chen Style is where taijiquan began. We will focus on strength and flexibility.
  • March 17: Yang Style is the most practiced style of taijiquan. It’s slow, large movements are great for relaxation and meditation in motion.
  • April 21: The Twelve Animal Qigong and Taijiquan are fun, short forms to play in the spring.
  • Instructor: Juli McGreevy

T’ai Chi Workshop 1 – UFC Member ($25.00)

T’ai Chi Workshop 1 – Non-Member ($40.00)

T’ai Chi Workshop 2 – UFC Member ($25.00)

T’ai Chi Workshop 2 – Non-Member ($40.00)

T’ai Chi Workshop 3 – UFC Member ($25.00)

T’ai Chi Workshop 3 – Non-Member ($40.00)

T’ai Chi Workshop 4 – UFC Member ($25.00)

T’ai Chi Workshop 4 – Non-Member ($40.00)

Total Tabata Expand answer

It’s a new year and that means new fitness goals. Whether you are a gym regular or just starting out, you don’t want to miss this 4-week session of Tabata style classes. In Total Tabata, you will complete moves for 20 seconds with 10 seconds of rest in between. Get started on your fitness journey or take it to the next level by challenging your cardio and muscular systems completing focused high-intensity exercises to develop speed and agility. You can expect to do moves such as: air squats, burpees, pendulum lunges, step drills, and much more. This class is especially great for runners wanting to get a head start on spring training. Exercises will be performed together as a group but at your own pace and ability. The instructor will provide modifications for every move. So, come in to UFC and get your fit on!

  • Mondays
  • January 29 – February 19
  • 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
  • Instructor: Liz Leedy

Total Tabata – UFC Member ($45.00)

Total Tabata – Non-Member ($60.00)

Mindfulness Programs Expand answer

Penn State Health Mindfulness Programs

We live in a world that has become increasingly distracted. Many of us are juggling busy schedules, trying to keep up with the demands of work or family life. In the face of stress or pain we may find ourselves coping in ways that do more harm than good. Mindfulness offers a different way to meet the challenges that arise in our lives. It is a practice that is beautifully simple and practical, and yet also a radical departure from our mainstream way of living.

Reasons to practice mindfulness are as varied and personal as our individual lives. Over 40 years of scientific evidence shows the effectiveness of mindfulness for stress, burnout, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, among other problems. Better yet, these practices have been shown to enhance quality of life for healthy people. We can all benefit from building these time-honored practices in our modern lives.

Regardless of our motivations, mindfulness offers each and every one of us an opportunity to know ourselves better, so that we might live fuller lives, with less stress and more joy. See which Mindfulness Program at Penn State Health is right for you today.

Upcoming MBSR session on Zoom:

  • Session dates: February 5 – March 25
  • Orientation: Monday January 29: 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday Retreat: March 16: 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Course Fees: $300, $200 for Students, Resident Physicians, or MBSR Alumni
  • Instructors: Tim Riley, MD & Shelly Ungemach, MSW, LSW

View Mindfulness Programs

University Fitness Center Specialty Class Policy Expand answer
  • Specialty classes take a holistic approach to physical activity at the University Fitness Center. You can expect a progressive learning and skill-building experience over a multi-week session.
  • We are unable to issue any refunds, regardless of circumstances, unless the program or session is cancelled.
  • Program and class information is communicated exclusively through email and the University Fitness Center’s Facebook page.