Tuesday, July 02 2019

(The above video, Aqua Free:  Impact Options, was posted on March 8, 2015)

Grounded, bounded, neutral, suspended, powered & propelled. Creating an aqua routine with a wide variety of impact options is a really, really good idea given the diverse fitness levels of aquatic fitness participants.  Class members from deconditioned to advanced can participate at their own preferred level of aqua action.  As for creativity…EUREKA!  An entire routine can be created with impact options. 


In Spring 2015 we are AQUA FREE and on a mission to create endless variations of base moves to use in our aqua routines.  In Part 1, we dressed up jacks, skis, kicks, jogs and more with oodles of arm variations and made entire combinations out of base moves and arm patterns.  In Part 2, we gave our base moves travel opportunities and directional changes, creating combinations by traveling and turning jacks, skis, ankle reaches, leg curls and more.   And now in Part 3 fasten your seat belt for an amazing roller coaster of grounded, bounded and suspended aqua action.


Creating combinations and even entire routines is easy because there are 6 different impact options you can apply to a base move.


LEVEL I (Bounded Movement)

Base moves are executed in an upright position in waist to chest depth water.  There is still gravity present in chest high water and thus impact – approximately 25-35% of body weight impact.   All base moves can be performed at Level I.


LEVEL II  (Neutral Movement)

Base moves are executed by lowering hips in a semi squat position so that shoulders are even with the surface of the water.  This removes the gravity from the movement and thus reduces/eliminates impact.  All base moves can be performed at Level II.

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LEVEL III (Suspended Movement)

Base moves are executed with feet off of the pool floor.  There is zero gravity and thus zero impact.  Two-footed moves, such as skis, jacks and hops can be performed at Level III.  One-footed moves, such as jogs, leg curls, kicks do not perform well at Level III.


GROUNDED (Anchored Movement)

Impact can be reduced similar to Level II by keeping one foot in contact with the pool floor.  However, grounded movement can be performed upright.  Shoulders do not need to be lowered.  Impact is reduced as one foot performs a movement while the other is anchored to the pool floor.  Most base moves can be grounded.


ELEVATED (Powered Movement)

Impact is increased as base moves are performed by forcefully elevating the knees toward the chest, powering knees upwards and using more muscular force.  Elevated moves can be performed at Level II, reducing impact yet maintaining the muscular force and power of the movement.


PROPELLED (Plyometric Movement)

Exploding movements off the pool floor, similar to plyometric movement, increases impact.  Two-footed moves are jumped and one-footed moves involve springing off the pool floor.  Most base moves can be propelled.


When you apply these 6 impact options to a base move, you get 6 different moves with 6 different outcomes.  Once again…EUREKA!...this means you can create lots of base moves.  In the video, Aqua Free:  Impact Options, an entire aqua routine was made up of six combinations featuring 6 different base moves:  jumping jacks, cross country skis, kicks, jogs, leg curls, and ankle reaches.  The 6 different impact options were applied to these base moves to create an entire combination.  Below is an example of one of the six combinations. 


Jack grounded R & L (8)     Jack Twist R & L Level I (8)

Jack Level II x 2 (8) Jack Level III x 2 (8)

Jack Elevated x 2 (8) Jack Propelled x 2 (8)


Performing combinations that go from grounded, to bounded, to neutral, to suspended, powered and propelled is really a lot of fun.  The variations of movement and body position create an exciting and engaging aquatic workout.


Teaching a routine made up of impact options is easy because you are instructing a creative combination based on ONE MOVE, rather than trying to concoct choreography made up of several moves. 


The full video, Aqua Free:  Impact Options, is now playing on the Fitmotivation website in the Basic & Premium category.  The notes featuring all 6 base move combinations can also be printed out.  

6-5-4-3-2-1…Log on and Get busy!

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.