5 Ways to Use Arms in Aquafit

Tuesday, November 29 2022

Join Lori for a refresher on the use of arms in an aquatic fitness class.  Aquatic Arms is a 20-minute video that is designed to provide instructors with ideas for incorporating creative and effective arm movements in their classes. 

Five Ways to use Arms
The Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA) details five different ways that you can use arms in an aquatic fitness class.  The entire Aquatic Arms video is based on AEA’s recommendations for adding variety to upper body base moves in these five ways. 

  1. Mix & match arm and leg base moves.  We often perform a jumping jack with shoulder abduction and adduction.  You can completely change the outcome of the jumping jack by performing shoulder flexion and extension (ski arms) instead.  Think outside of the box and create endless variations of arm and leg combinations.
  2. Create arm patterns.  Instead of doing just one arm movement with a jumping jack, combine 2, 3, 4 or more moves into an arm pattern.  Not only does this add creativity to your routine, it challenges coordination. 
  3. Use arms above the water’s surface.  AEA recommends keeping the majority of arm patterns below the surface of the water to maximize the water’s resistance, but using overhead arms represents functional movement as this is an activity of daily living. 
  4. Keep the arms in a neutral position.  Since the upper body cannot assist with stability, the core muscles must work harder when performing traditional lower body base moves.  Examples of neutral arms would be arms in goal post position or crossed over the chest. 
  5. Float the arms on the water’s surface.  Floating arms can help more deconditioned participants perform lower body base moves with better alignment as the water essentially provides support.  However, floating arms may provide a disadvantage for fit class members because the core is not actively engaged and challenged.  Offering either neutral or floating arms is a great way to provide options to your participants.
    Watch Lori talk more about these 5 arm strategies.

The Aquatic Arms videos will post in conjunction with Aquatic Legs, a video that I filmed this month.  The combination of both videos is designed to provide education and ideas for instructors.  The meatier content made for some good continuing education.  Stay tuned! The Fitmotivation Online Ed Program, Aquatic Arms & Legs, worth 2.0 AEA CECs, will post later this week along with the Aquatic Legs video.  Fitmotivation extends a big thank you to AEA’s 2022 Aquatic Fitness Professional of the Year award recipient, Lori Templeman, for her contributions to the site.  Check out Lori’s other Fitmotivation videos



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.