Welcome

Author/Instructor Photo

Christine Alexander is the author of 2 books on water exercise each published by Human Kinetics.

Water Fitness Progressions (2019) was written for water fitness instructors and aquatic personal trainers. It describes how to use periodization to help class participants and clients progress in their level of fitness. It contains lesson plans that illustrate how to progressively increase intensity for both cardiorespiratory endurance and strength training.

Water Fitness Lesson Plans and Choreography (2011) was written for water fitness instructors. It has 36 class ideas for shallow water exercise and 36 class ideas for deep water exercise. Individuals may find the exercise descriptions and photos useful for building a personal exercise routine.

Holidays in the Pool

As the holiday season approaches, it is time to plan for a little holiday fun with your water fitness class. Start by breaking out the holiday music. If you don’t have a holiday playlist, you can download one from any of the fitness music companies. Yes Fitness Music has: Xmas Buzz, SS Classic Christmas, FREE Holiday Medley, and Super Happy Xmas. Dynamix has Christmas Pop Hits 2, Winter Wonderland 1, and Winter Wonderland 2. Fit Mix Pro has Christmas Party, Christmas Party 1, Aqua Freedom Christmas, Cardio Christmas and many more. Muscle Mixes Music has Core Christmas and Core Christmas Vol. 2, Christmas in Motion, and Christmas Jingles. Power Music has Tabata Power Mix (Holiday Edition), Tis the Season (Best of Christmas Hits Remixed), Tis the Season 2 (Christmas Power Mix Step), Tis the Season (Christmas Power Mix Aerobics), Christmas Hits Remixed, and Christmas Hits Remixed Vol. 2. If the playlist you like is not the right beats per minute for your class, then download Tempo Magic from the app store. It adjusts the tempo of your playlist without making it sound like you are playing the music in slow motion when you lower the beats per minute, or making it sound like Alvin and the Chipmonks when you increase the beats per minute.

Now for the fun. Here are two ideas to add some holiday sparkle to your water fitness class:

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Select an exercise to go with each of the twelve days of Christmas, and teach the class as add-on choreography. You can pick any exercise you like, but here are some ideas to get you started.

  1. Partridge in a pear tree – Jumping jacks
  2. Turtle doves – Inner thigh lift doubles
  3. French hens – Jog 3X and hold
  4. Calling birds – Kick forward 4X, kick backward 4X
  5. Golden rings – Jog in a circle
  6. Geese a-laying – Pelvic floor exercise
  7. Swans a-swimming – Jog with crawl stroke
  8. Maids a-milking – Steep climb with milking arm motions
  9. Ladies dancing – Swing a partner
  10. Lords a-leaping – Leap
  11. Pipers piping – Wide jog with side stroke
  12. Drummers drumming – Wide jog, hands press down in front as if drumming

Holiday Obstacle Course

Set up stations like a circuit class around the pool in advance. Then divide your class into two groups. Group one will be helpers while the second group runs through the obstacle course. After the second group completes the course, they become the helpers while the first group runs through.

Station Three
Station Four
Station Five
Station Six
  • Starting Gate. Two helpers hold the ends of a noodle up to form an arch that the participants run through to begin the obstacle course.
  • Station One. Cross-country ski to the North Pole using Aqualogix Bells. If you do not have bells, you can use foam dumbbells or paddles.
  • Station Two. Make snow angles by performing jumping jacks with foam dumbbells.
  • Station Three. Decorate the tree. Cut some pieces off a noodle that has a hole in the middle. Slice the pieces just to the hole. Attach the pieces to a hula hoop so that it will float, as in the photo. If you don’t have a hula hoop, you can rubber band the ends of two noodles together to form a circle. A helper has pool toys or balls in a bucket, and the participant stands some distance away and tries to toss the toys into the hoop.
  • Station Four. Stir the cookie dough. Hold a paddle in the freehold position and perform a stirring motion. If you do not have paddles, then you can paddlewheel like an electric mixer with foam dumbbells instead.
  • Station Five. Test the bicycles in the toy shop. Straddle a noodle and bicycle some distance away and back.
  • Station Six. Load Santa’s sleigh. Have two or three helpers stand in a line each holding a ball. The participant tosses a ball back and forth a few times with each helper.
  • Station Seven. Pull Santa’s sleigh. A helper plays Santa by holding the ends of two noodles under his/her arms. The participant stands with his/her back to Santa and pulls the sleigh to deliver the toys to the finish line.
Station Seven

The finish line. The same two helpers who held a noodle up to form an arch at the beginning of the obstacle course, now serve as the finish line. This activity is sure to bring your participants lots of giggles and leave everyone in the holiday spirit.

Here’s wishing everyone a happy holiday season! See you in the pool!

Author/Instructor Photo
Chris Alexander

Aquatic Fitness Resources

Whether you teach water fitness classes, work as an aquatic therapist, or attend a class or session as a participant, there are certain things that you need to have. Instructors need certifications, continuing education, and sometimes help with lesson planning. Everyone needs swimwear and shoes they can wear in the pool. Fitness equipment designed for the aquatic environment is a must. Music is a great motivator used in many classes. The purpose of this article is to provide you with information and reviews for a variety of these resources as well as links to websites where you can purchase them.

Certifications

Ruth Sova

The Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA) was founded by Ruth Sova who then went on to found the Aquatic Therapy and Rehab Institute (ATRI). The two organizations recently merged. AEA’s certification is accepted in many countries around the world. AEA recommends that you get at least 6 months experience before applying for the certification. Their Aquatic Fitness Professional Manual costs $68. Their online exam is $165. The optional (but highly recommended) online prep course is $209. The certification is good for 2 years. A minimum of 15 continuing education credits (CECs) is required to renew. ATRI offers a certification for people interested in aquatic therapy, rehab and therapeutic exercise. AEA members get Akwa magazine, with excellent articles on aquatic fitness. You don’t need an AEA certification to become a member.

John Spannuth

The United States Water Fitness Association (USWFA) was founded by John Spannuth. It was the first organization to offer a certification for water fitness instructors. The certification is a home study course, costing $277. When you sign up, they send you the National Water Fitness Instructors Manual, an open book test and some forms to fill out. You have to teach a section of an experienced instructor’s class and then both of you fill out an evaluation. The certification is good for 3 years. You take another open book test to renew. The USWFA offers additional certifications: the Aquatic Directors certification, the Deep Water certification, the Aquatic Fitness Personal Trainers certification, the Aquatic Wellness Coach certification, and the Water Walking Instructors certification. The Aquatic Directors manual addresses the issues facing aquatic facilities in the post-pandemic period.

Sara Kooperman

SCW was founded by Sara Kooperman as a series of Mania fitness pro conventions in the Midwest, Dallas, Boston, D.C., California, Florida and Atlanta. The conventions offer continuing education training for land fitness instructors and personal trainers as well as aquatic fitness instructors. SCW expanded to offer certifications in Aquatic Exercise, Group Exercise, Personal Training, Active Aging and many more. The Aquatic Exercise certification is an online course costing $199. It is good for 2 years and requires 20 CECs to renew. SCW created WaterinMotion, a pre-choreographed, quarterly-released group exercise program that refreshes the moves and music every 3 months. You can also sign up on the SCW website for free webinars, Spotlite e-news, and Tidal Waves e-news.

Other organizations that offer certifications which are less well known are Aquatic & Fitness Professionals and WaterART. Zumba offers an aquatic Zumba certification.

Continuing Education

AEA offers both in person and online continuing education. The International Aquatic Fitness Conference (IAFC) is held in May and they offer CEC trainings in locations around the country. Check their website for a calendar of events. In addition to their Mania fitness pro conventions, SCW offers CEC video courses in the SCW Store on their website. Laurie Denomme has created a Water Exercise Coach program that teaches you how to lead workouts to get your students results. Exercise Etc. Inc. offers online education on a variety of fitness topics. It’s an easy way to collect the last few CECs needed to renew a certification. Mark Grevelding founded Fitmotivation, an aquatic video streaming service. The basic plan costs $14.95 a month, and the premium plan costs $24.95 a month. Two or three new videos are added every month. Some of the videos include AEA online quizzes worth continuing education credits that you can take for $20 with the basic plan or $10 with the premium plan. If you just want to stream videos to work out in your backyard pool, Mark offers a program for that too, Pool Fit.

Books

Some people like having a book to refer to when they need ideas. I wrote 2 books on water exercise each published by Human Kinetics. Water Fitness Lesson Plans and Choreography (2011) was written for water fitness instructors. It has 36 class ideas for shallow water exercise and 36 ideas for deep water exercise. Individuals may find the exercise descriptions and photos in Chapter 2 and Chapter 5 useful for building a personal exercise routine. Water Fitness Progressions (2019) was written for water fitness instructors and aquatic personal trainers. It describes how to use periodization to help class participants and clients progress in their level of fitness. It contains lesson plans that illustrate how to progressively increase intensity for both cardiorespiratory endurance and strength training. Gregory James Keyes has written Aqua-I-Cue: The Quintessential Aquatic Exercise Sports Science Reference Manual, which offers a wealth of information covering topics found in certification manuals and much more. It is available as a download on Amazon.

Swimwear

Your swimsuit is your most basic piece of aquatic fitness equipment, and there are many websites where you can order them. These include, in alphabetical order: D&J Sports, Dolfin, H20 Wear, Kiefer, Lands End, Speedo, Splash International, Swim and Sweat, Swim Outlet, SwimSuits for All, TYR, and Xtreme Swim. H20 Wear has been making the longest-lasting, chlorine-resistant swimwear available for 33 years, and they also sell apparel and water shoes. SwimSuits for All sells swimsuits for a variety of body types. TYR makes swim jammers for men. For a review of the 20 best athletic and sporty swimsuits that are flattering and functional for women, published in May 2021, check out Prevention.com. And for men, Sports Fitness Advisor wrote a review of swim jammers in August 2021.

Water Fitness Shoes

One of the best known women’s shoe for water fitness is made by Ryka. They are designed specifically for a woman’s foot. But men are taking water fitness classes too, and there are many companies that make water fitness shoes. Shoes Grow – Step Up in Life posted an article called The Best Shoes for Water Aerobics. Another review of water shoes was posted by Surfango.

Aquatic Fitness Equipment

Foam dumbbells, pool noodles, drag equipment, and deep-water belts are some of the types of equipment made for aquatic exercise and aquatic therapy. Craig Stuart was the first to make foam dumbbells, starting Hydro-Fit to sell them. Hydro-Fit also makes webbed gloves, pool noodles, deep-water belts, cuffs, apparel, and equipment for aquatic therapy. I have to admit that I am a big fan of Hydro-Fit. I am especially fond of the webbed gloves. Everything I have purchased from them is of good quality, and lasts a long time. The only place to buy Hydro-Fit products is from their website. Drag equipment is a good training choice, and the drag equipment I like best, other than webbed gloves, are Aqualogix bells. Aqualogix also makes fins to increase drag resistance on the legs. Another interesting type of drag equipment is the Aqua-Ohm, created by Irene and Marco, a couple of aquatic physical therapists. Other sellers of aquatic fitness equipment are, in alphabetical order: Aquajogger, Hydro-Tone, Sprint Aquatics, Water Fit, Theraquatics, and Water Gear. Some of the websites that sell swimsuits also sell equipment, including D&J Sports, Kiefer, Splash International, Swim Outlet, and Xtreme Swim. Best Reviews posted an article in September 2021 on their picks for the 5 Best Aquatic Dumbbells. You might also want to check out the post in Your Swim Book on the Five Best Pieces of Water Exercise Equipment for Crushing Your Pool Workouts.

Music

Many people wouldn’t think of exercising without music! If you are teaching a class, you want to use music created especially for fitness classes, using the appropriate beats per minute. Yes Fitness Music lets you purchase individual playlists, or you can have unlimited access to their entire fitness music library with a Yes!Go Subscription plan, costing $149.95 for a year or $14.95 a month. Dynamix offers pre-mixed albums or you can create your own custom downloads. Fit Mix Pro offers custom mixes only. Muscle Mixes Music and Power Music offer pre-mixed playlists. If you are interested in a microphone, the only waterproof mic on the market is the Evo sound system available at Special Projects Audio by Galaxy.

If I missed one of your favorite vendors, put a comment at the bottom of this article. See you in the pool!

Author/Instructor Photo
Chris Alexander

High Intensity Interval Training in Deep Water

There are those who are passionate about deep-water exercise (and I am one of them). But for those who have never tried it, there is a degree of mystery about it. One of the concerns I hear most often is: “I don’t think I could tread water for an entire one-hour class.” You don’t have to! Everyone should wear a flotation belt in deep water. The second concern I hear is: “Can you get a workout in deep water as intense as the workout in shallow water? And the answer is definitely, yes!

Let’s back up to that flotation belt. It needs to be attached tightly around your waist so that it doesn’t slide up under your arm pits. And then you need some practice stabilizing, since your feet don’t touch the pool floor and there may be a tendency to tip forward or backward. The core muscles have to learn to contract to keep you upright, which is why most people see improvements in their core strength after taking a deep-water class for awhile. The second thing you need to learn is to continue to maintain that upright position in which you work against the water’s resistance with your entire body from the neck down, instead of trying to streamline by rounding forward, as in the drawing with the big X through it. In this position the bones of your spine are compressed on the front side, which is not good for the back.

Now, let’s talk about getting an intense workout in deep water. This means high intensity interval training (HIIT) where you work at 80-90% of your maximum effort for short periods followed by periods of active recovery. Achieving maximum effort requires focus. Your focus determines the number of muscle fibers that need to contract and the speed of those contractions. It’s important, then, that you are actively engaged, not reminiscing about vacation or chatting with another participant, when you are performing HIIT. The strategies for achieving high intensity in deep water are similar to the strategies in shallow water, but with some differences.

Step One: Start with the Base Moves. In deep water the base moves are jog, bicycle, kick, cross-country ski, and jumping jacks. These moves all have multiple variations. (1) Jog. You can jog with the feet hip distance apart or wide. You can cross the midline in front with an inner thigh lift or cross the midline in back with hopscotch. You can lift the knees in front or the heels in back. You can lean diagonally to the side or go all the way to side-lying. (2) Bicycle. Bicycle with the feet under you as if you are on a unicycle. You can bicycle tandem, with the feet pedaling in unison. You can lean diagonally to the side or go all the way to side-lying. (3) Kick. You can flutter kick, kick forward, kick across the midline, Cossack kick like a Russian dancer, or kick backward. (4) Cross-country ski. You can ski upright, add a tuck, lean diagonally to the side or go all the way to side-lying. (5) Jumping jacks. You can add a tuck or perform the jacks seated, with knees bent or in an “L” position. All the base moves can be varied by using different arm movements or different foot positions.

Step Two: Increase the Range of Motion. Large moves take more effort than smaller moves. Increasing the range of motion is one intensity variable. Get the knees high in your jog and pump the arms in big movements. Start your inner thigh lift with the feet wide apart and lift the inner thigh high. Start your hopscotch with the feet wide too. Bicycle in large round circles. Kick higher – front or back. Perform cross-country ski with your full range of motion, or do a helicopter ski, moving the legs in semi-circles around the body instead of in straight lines. Take your feet as wide as comfortably possible in your jumping jacks and cross the legs in the center. Focus on achieving your full range of motion. Depending your level of fitness, you may find large moves to be really intense. Alternate base moves with exercises using full range of motion for your intervals until that becomes easier.

Step Three: Add Speed. Faster moves increase intensity. The tendency, however, is to decrease the range of motion as speed is increased. You work much harder if you maintain the same full range of motion while speeding up. Pay attention to your exercises to avoid slowing down. Speed is a second intensity variable. Alternate base moves with faster exercises for your intervals until that becomes easier.

Step Four: Add Acceleration. There are two ways to do this. (1) Accelerate your leg movements toward center to lift your shoulders out of the water. This is called adding elevation. Examples are frog kick, breaststroke kick, cross-country ski, and tuck ski together (scissors kick). The body will rise and sink rhythmically. You can also use a scull to lift your shoulders out of the water with a jog, bicycle or flutter kick. Aim to stay elevated with your scull. (2) Accelerate against the water’s resistance, or add more force to the move. Take your jog to a steep climb by stretching out your arms and pressing alternating hands down while at the same time lifting the knees high and then pressing the heels down toward the pool floor, as if climbing a steep mountain with trekking poles. Lift your inner thigh with power as your press the opposite hand down forcefully toward the thigh. Bicycle with power as if you are climbing a hill in first gear. Perform a high kick powering the leg on the downward phase, or power both upward and downward. Kicks backward, cross-country ski and jumping jacks can all be performed with power. Be mindful about what you are doing because the harder you push against the water, the harder the water pushes back. Acceleration is a third intensity variable. Alternate base moves with accelerated moves for your intervals until that becomes easier.

Step Five: Combine Intensity Variables or Work in More than One Plane. One strategy for continuing to perform HIIT once you have achieved your fitness goals is to combine intensity variables. Go for full range of motion with power, elevation with speed, or power with travel continuing to use force as you move across the pool. Another strategy is to work in two or three planes at once. You can do this by alternating one move in the frontal plane, such as a frog kick with another move in the sagittal plane, such as a tuck ski together. A second way to work in multiple planes is to combine arm moves in one plane with leg moves in another plane. Examples include jumping jacks (frontal plane) with clapping hands (transverse plane); cross-country ski (sagittal plane) with arms sweeping side to side (transverse plane); and high kick (sagittal plane) clapping over the kick (transverse plane) then under the kick (frontal plane). Continue to focus on what you are doing, and your periods of high intensity will leave you breathing hard. You will need those periods of active recovery to catch your breath. For more information on interval training in both deep water and shallow water, including lesson plans using these five steps, see my book Water Fitness Progressions.

See you in the pool!

Author/Instructor Photo
Chris Alexander

High Intensity Interval Training

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is working at 80-90% of your maximum effort for short periods followed by periods of active recovery in which you work at a lower intensity. Achieving maximum effort requires focus. Your focus determines the number of muscle fibers that need to contract and the speed of those contractions. It’s important, then, that you are actively engaged, not reminiscing about vacation or stressing about your workday, when you are performing HIIT. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise five days a week, or 20 minutes of high intensity exercise three days a week. That means that if you work at a high intensity, you meet your exercise goal in less time. For that reason, HIIT is popular in all types of exercise, both on land and in the water. Whether you are taking a water fitness class or working in your backyard pool, you may be wondering how to achieve high intensity in the water.

Step One: Start with the Base Moves. In shallow water the base moves are walk, jog, kick, rocking horse, cross-country ski, and jumping jacks. Walking is good for warming up and cooling down. Jog, kick, rocking horse, cross-country ski and jumping jacks all have multiple variations. (1) Jog. You can jog with the feet hip distance apart or wide. You can cross the midline in front with an inner thigh lift or cross the midline in back with hopscotch. You can lift the knees in front or the heels in back. (2) Kick. You can kick forward, kick across the midline, kick side to side, or kick backward. (3) Rocking horse. Rocking horse can be done front to back or side to side. (4) Cross-country ski, jumping jacks and all the base moves can be varied by using different arm movements or different foot positions.

Step Two: Increase the Range of Motion. Large moves take more effort than smaller moves. Increasing the range of motion is one intensity variable. Get the knees high in your jog and pump the arms in big movements. Start your inner thigh lift with the feet wide apart and lift the inner thigh high. Start your hopscotch with the feet wide too. Kick higher – front, side or back. Lift your knees high in front and your heels high in back with your rocking horse. Perform cross-country ski with your full range of motion. Take your feet as wide as possible in your jumping jacks and cross the legs in the center. Focus on achieving your full range of motion. Depending your level of fitness, you may find large moves to be really intense. Alternate base moves with exercises using full range of motion for your intervals until that becomes easier.

Step Three: Add Speed. Faster moves increase intensity. The tendency, however, is to decrease the range of motion as speed is increased. You work much harder if you maintain the same full range of motion while speeding up. Pay attention to your exercises to avoid slowing down. Speed is a second intensity variable. Alternate base moves with faster exercises for your intervals until that becomes easier.

Step Four: Add Acceleration. There are two ways to do this. (1) Accelerate off the pool floor, or jump. Take your jog to a leap and your wide jog to a frog jump. Perform your inner thigh lift and hopscotch with a rebound. Rebound with your kicks as well. Jump and tuck your feet under you with cross-country ski. With jumping jacks, jump and touch your heels together before landing with your feet wide. (2) Accelerate against the water’s resistance, or add more force to the move. Take your jog to a steep climb by stretching out your arms and pressing alternating hands down while at the same time lifting the knees high and then pressing the heels down toward the pool floor, as if climbing a steep mountain with trekking poles. Lift your inner thigh with power as your press the opposite hand down forcefully toward the thigh. Perform a high kick powering the leg on the downward phase, or power both upward and downward. Kick side to side with arms and legs opposite, adding power to the move. Instead of rebounding as you kick side to side, you can stay grounded, and you might be surprised at how hard it is. Karate front kicks and side kicks also involve using force against the water. Kicks backward, cross-country ski and jumping jacks can all be performed with power. Try the cross-country ski low in the water so that more of your body has to push against the water’s resistance. Be mindful about what you are doing because the harder you push against the water, the harder the water pushes back. Acceleration is a third intensity variable. Alternate base moves with accelerated moves for your intervals until that becomes easier.

Step Five: Combine Intensity Variables or Work in More than One Plane. One strategy for continuing to perform HIIT once you have achieved your fitness goals is to combine intensity variables. Go for full range of motion, speed and jumping, or full range of motion, speed and power all at the same time. You can also continue to accelerate while traveling, either by rebounding and jumping or by continuing to use force as you move across the pool. Another strategy is to work in two or three planes at once. You can do this by alternating one move in the frontal plane, such as a frog jump with another move in the sagittal plane, such as a tuck ski. A second way to work in two planes is to combine arm moves in one plane with leg moves in another plane. Examples include kick side to side (frontal plane) with arms sweeping side to side (transverse plane); cross-country ski (sagittal plane) with palms together sweeping side to side (transverse plane); and high kick (sagittal plane) clapping over the kick (transverse plane) then under the kick (frontal plane). Continue to focus on what you are doing, and your periods of high intensity will leave you breathing hard. You will need those periods of active recovery to catch your breath. For more information on interval training in the pool, see my book Water Fitness Progressions.

High intensity interval training is also done on land, and it’s always a good idea to cross train if possible, doing some of your workouts in the pool and some on land. For those who are not comfortable training in a gym, you can still do HIIT at home. If you enjoy walking in your neighborhood, try picking up the pace to a fast walk for short periods, again being mindful of what you are doing, followed by periods of walking at your normal speed for active recovery. As you continue to practice, you will find that the pace of your fast walking increases. If you prefer to run, try HIIT running. There is some great information on HIIT running at home on Garage Gym Reviews at https://www.garagegymreviews.com/hiit-running-workouts

See you in the pool!

Author/Instructor Photo
Chris Alexander

What Should a Water Fitness Instructor Know?

If you ask most people what a water fitness instructor should know, they would probably say pool exercises. While that is true, there is so much more to teaching a water fitness class than just knowing a variety of exercises. I teach a class for beginning water fitness instructors. While the class does not give participants a national certification, it does provide them with the basics to get them started and will help them prepare for getting certified later on. My next Beginning Water Fitness Instructor class will be October 9 and 16, 2021 from 10:00 AM – 2:30 PM at the McKinney Senior Pool in McKinney, Texas. Participants need to attend both Saturdays. Here is a sample of what I want them to learn:

Best Abdominal Muscle Illustrations, Royalty-Free Vector ...

It’s important to know the names of the muscles and what they do. What muscles are you using when you clap hands, push forward, do a side bend, kick backward, or do jumping jacks? You need to be aware of what muscles you are using when you plan your classes so that you don’t end up working the pectoralis major, triceps and quadriceps while leaving out the trapezius, gluteus maximus and hamstrings for an unbalanced workout. You need to know movement terms like flexion, extension, abduction and adduction, because different instructors use different names for the same exercises, but if you know the scientific name for the exercise you will know exactly what the exercise is.

Water fitness classes take place in water which is much different from classes on land. The properties of water offer many benefits. Buoyancy offloads the joints. Resistance promotes muscle balance. Hydrostatic pressure increases the stroke volume and cardiac output of the heart. If you understand Newton’s Laws of Motion, you can use them to your advantage. Make use of Newton’s First Law: Inertia by changing the direction of travel. Make use of Newton’s Law of Acceleration by using more force when pushing against the water. Make use of Newton’s Third Law: Action and Reaction by using impeding arms or legs. You need to know how to increase intensity to make the exercises harder. For example, you can increase the range of motion, increase the speed, add power or travel. You also need to know how to decrease intensity. You can slow the moves down, substitute a different move with shorter levers, or slice with the hands instead of cupping them.

Water fitness equipment is very popular, and it is important to know how to use the equipment that is available to you. Buoyant equipment, such as noodles and foam dumbbells float. That means they offer resistance only when pushing them down toward the pool floor. Drag equipment, such as paddles, provide resistance in any direction.

Then of course you do have to know a variety of exercises. It might surprise you to know that there are only seven basic shallow water exercises: walk, jog, kick, rocking horse, cross-country ski, and jumping jacks. All the other exercises are variations of these six. For example, you can take the basic exercise and change the arm movements; change the foot positions; work the move forward, sideways or backward; cross the midline; change the working position; or change the tempo. You can organize the exercises in many ways. Organizing the exercises into a lesson plan is writing choreography. There are a number of choreography styles that can help you do this. There is linear choreography, pyramid choreography, add-on choreography, the layer technique, and block choreography. Of course you want to put your choreography to music. Copyright laws prevent you from making playlists from your favorite musicians. Instead, buy your music from businesses that produce music specifically for fitness classes. For more information on teaching water fitness classes, see my books Water Fitness Progressions and Water Fitness Lesson Plans and Choreography..

If you would like to take the course you can register at https://webtrac.mckinneytexas.org/wbwsc/webtrac.wsc/wb1000.html?wbp=1 You will have to create an account with the McKinney Parks and Recreation Department. For assistance in creating an account, call the McKinney Senior Pool at 972-547-7947. Search for the class by using the Activity Number 303191. From there, add the class to your cart (the small cart icon on the left) and complete payment. In-person registration is available at the Senior Pool at 1400 College St. in McKinney. For more information on the class, see page 14 of the Fall Activity Guide https://www.mckinneytexas.org/DocumentCenter/View/27936/Activity-Guide-PR-Fall-2021

See you in the pool!

Author/Instructor Photo
Chris Alexander

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