Tuesday, July 02 2019

Whether you teach an aquatic mind & body class or you are just looking for new noodle ideas for core training, Belgian aqua expert, Wim Van Lancker, shares all new advanced and challenging noodle progressions.   Similar to Pilates training, Aqua Libre Advanced features precise, controlled movements in a variety of positions.

Libre is a word borrowed from French and Spanish to describe something as free or as having freedom.  Wim prefers to think of it as free and fluid.  His original Aqua Libre workout featured slow, controlled movements with precise execution to create a challenging core workout with a soothing Zen approach.  He is back with three more noodle progressions and a core challenge that has to be experienced to be believed.  

The video and preview demonstrate the movements in the deep but this is actually a shallow water workout.  A problem on filming day forced a change in the pool venue and water depth.  According to Wim, the workout in shallow water is easier in Progression 1 because one foot is often touching.  He cautions that the moves must be performed slow and controlled.  No rebounding allowed.  The moves in Progressions 2 and 3 are mostly suspended and depth is inconsequential.   Thanks to the pool snafu, we now know this workout can be done in both depths. 


Noodle Progression 1:  Behind the Back – Under the Arms
Arms and legs are used both statically and dynamically to engage the core.  Movement is introduced and coordinated with breath as a method to be used in ALL exercises in the video.  In shallow water, the feet would be touching the floor in some of the exercises while the body is reclined back.

Noodle Progression 2:  Seated on the Noodle
Many of the same arm and leg movements used in the first progression are re-introduced in this segment.  The seated position engages the core for a completely different feel to the moves used in Progression 1.   The second half of the segment features Pilates-inspired exercises with the noodle placed behind the knee.  These are advanced exercises and modifications should be explored and prepared.

Noodle Progression 3:  Standing on the Noodle
As the noodle progresses further down into the water, the stability challenge greatly increases, providing maximal core recruitment.  The noodle becomes a balance training device, similar to a BOSU, as a series of squat movements are introduced.  Take away 12 different squat variations utilizing creative and functional movements of the limbs.  CAUTION:  The noodle becomes a loaded missile when it is positioned deeper in the water.  Students should be spaced out to avoid potential issues.  As always, consider your population before introducing a more advanced, higher risk exercise.

This is an advanced workout and the moves are meant to be super challenging.  It will take time for students to develop the kinesthetic awareness and breath control required for this workout.  It is strongly recommended that you get in the water and try these moves YOURSELF before teaching them.  Wim has provided several creative noodle exercises but it is up to individual instructors to get in the water and play with the movements and progress and regress in a manner that best suits participants.  Wim would like to remind instructors that participants may not have optimal form but that is okay because they need to work within their own abilities.  “The movement itself is not the aim of the exercise; keeping good posture while doing the exercise is the goal, “ says Wim. 

On behalf of Fitmotivation, we extend a big ‘THANK YOU’ to Wim for sharing his passion for aquatic mind & body fitness with Fitmotivation video subscribers.  His first video, Aqua Libre,posted in May 2016.  Many regular attendees of IAFC from years past will probably recognize Wim.   For several years he served as an IAFC staff member, helping with A/V needs in the classrooms, including assisting nervous presenters with the LCD projectors.  Wim is a senior staff member for Aqua & Move in Belgium. 

Stay tuned for more mind & body workouts coming this spring!

May 8             YoHilates                                Daniela De Toia (Germany)

May 30           Aqua Rejuvenate                   Mark Grevelding (USA)

June 21          Aqua Ballet Beats                  Claire Barker-Hemings (Australia)

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.