10 Moves: 20-minutes of Cardio Add-on Action

Tuesday, July 02 2019

Fitmotivation is testing the waters with a new express video series called Super Combos.  Finding the time to watch a full video and create a new class routine can be frustrating and futile.  The Super Combo series was designed to inject some quick life support into a distressed class.  The first Super Combo features 10 moves taught with add-on instruction. 

Fitmotivation subscribers can cancel at any time which makes access to this video resource affordable and stress free.  Subscribers unsubscribe for many reasons, however they often cite a lack of time to watch videos as a reason for canceling.  Acknowledging this feedback, we created the Express Video series last year.   Two shorter videos now post in place of one full length video.  The Super Combo series is designed to fine-tune the express video concept a step further by providing instructors with a ready-made combo that can be quickly viewed and added into a class.  Sometimes all you need is ONE new thing to give your class a much needed refresher. 


The inaugural Super Combo features add-on choreography, an instructional style that is near and dear to my heart.  Lest the word choreography freak you out, let me clarify that the 10 exercises used in this video are basic aqua moves.  My goal was to not only provide a quick cardio combo to add into a class, but to also coax choreography challenged instructors into giving add-on instruction a try.



The reality is that most aquatic fitness instructors teach older populations, at least here in the USA.  Teaching with add-on instruction works especially well with older populations.  The add-on method involves introducing a move, teaching it, introducing a second move, teaching it and then adding both moves together.   The cycle repeats as you introduce moves #3 and #4 and so on.  Senior populations respond favorably to this repetitive sequencing because it represents predictability.  Older adults become more comfortable and confident in their exercise endeavors when they are familiar with the sequence of moves. 



New instructors or those intimidated by choreography should start out teaching add-on in small increments and with very basic moves.  Don’t try to teach all 10 moves in this combo at once.  Teach 3 or 4 and see how it goes and then add another move on each week.  The timing for the moves in this video is based on music phrasing.  Every time a move is introduced it is taught for two 32-phrases of music (30 seconds) and then when the moves are added on each is taught for one phrase of music (15 seconds).   Not familiar with music phrasing?   Consider making it a goal to better understand and work with the music.   Fitmotivation has a couple resources that can help.  Watch the video, Aqua Musicology and read the associated blog, Teaching to the Beat 101.  If you are AEA certified, you can expand your music knowledge and earn CECs with the Aqua Musicology Online Ed program.    The video below includes some add-on advice for instructors who are timid about teaching with choreography.


Singing the praises of choreography in aquatic fitness workshops for the past 17 years has been a bit of a hard sell in an industry skewed more towards freestyle instructors.  Why do I keep trying?  My fear is that if instructors never step out of their comfort zone and try teaching with different styles of instruction or formatting they will become bored and so will their students.   Teaching the same things and the same way over and over is sure to drain an instructor's passion.   Even if you do not like choreography you should force yourself to teach an occasional choreographed combo every now and then.  Over the years, I have forced myself to teach a lot of formats I wanted no part of.  Many of these have since become formats that I now teach regularly.  Doing so has made me a more passionate, diversified and experienced instructor.  Cheers to diversity!


Author: Mark Grevelding is the founder of Fitmotivation. He is also a training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association’s (AEA). Mark has been active in the fitness industry for 22 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, international presenter and a continuing education provider for AEA, AFAA & ACE.