Tuesday, July 02 2019

Noodles are the most commonly used equipment in water fitness classes.  Affordable and versatile, they can be used for both resistance and neutral buoyancy.  AEA Training Specialist, Lori Templeman, shares 10 of her favorite noodle exercises in an express (18-minute) video.

Press them down for buoyant resistance, push and pull them for drag resistance or sit, stand, lay or kneel on them for neutral support and exercise creativity.  Noodles are popular because you can do so much with them and they are widely available in stores and inexpensive to purchase.  Noodles are used in deep water for buoyant support and in shallow water for formats such as Pilates, muscle conditioning, core training and more. 

Safety issues regarding noodle use are first discussed in this express video and then it gets right down to business with a quick tour of 10 noodle exercises that Lori uses in her classes.

Fitmotivation:  How do you incorporate noodles in your classes?Lori:   For this video, I pulled out a few exercises from various noodle formats I teach on a regular basis.  In my classes, sometimes I will do a "Noodle Mania" day where we use the noodle for the entire class, alternating between upper body resistance, suspended work, balance activities, and stretching.  In most cases, I incorporate noodles into the second half of the class where we can work on strength, core, and mobility exercises.  I also like to alternate between 5-minutes of cardio with no equipment and 5-minutes using the noodle.  This gives their shoulders and hands a break from stabilizing and gripping, yet the noodle content is woven in throughout the class.

Fitmotivation:  What type of noodle do you prefer?
The smaller, softer noodles were used in this video, but the denser white noodles can also work well.   If a student straddles the soft noodle and sinks, the dense noodle will provide more flotation.  For example, the white noodles will provide more buoyant support for the forearm plank exercise; it just requires more shoulder girdle stability to control it.  If students are pushing the noodle down and their shoulders are shrugging up, a softer, more pliable noodle is needed to train effectively. My facility has both types.  I encourage students to trade out noodles for the various working positions we explore.

Fitmotivation:  What safety issues do you find yourself reminding students of when you use the noodles in your classes?
Lori:  I encourage my students to vary the grip from thumb on top to thumb under.  It is important to provide grip breaks during class if using the noodle for an extended period of time. Let the students shake their fingers out.   This is why I like using them in an interval format.  The wrists should be kept in a neutral position when using the noodles and I frequently demonstrate this during a class.  Reminders and cues for shoulder stabilization are essential when using buoyant equipment.  In my classes I create shoulder girdle awareness by demonstrating and training scapular depression.  Lastly, I give constant reminders that proper depth is important when using noodles.  Water that is too deep makes it difficult to stabilize and water that is too shallow will reduce range of motion.  

Noodle Favorites, a shorter (18-minute) video is part of the new Fitmotivation Express Video Series designed to minimize viewing time and double content format.  Two shorter videos will take the place of one full-length video. Single Buoy Challenge with Chris LaCour will be the other Express Video posting this month. 

Fitmotivation would like to thank Lori Templeman for sharing 10 of her favorite noodle exercises with video viewers.  Check out Lori’s other videos, Circuit Wave Workout and Sink or Swim and stay tuned for a special release video from Lori coming soon - Yoga Rejuvenate (deck yoga). 


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.