Alphabet Themed Aquafit Class

Wednesday, March 27 2024


Aqua Alphabet is a dual depth water aerobic class that features 26 water exercises, each corresponding to a letter of the alphabet. Once you have introduced all the exercises, it is Game On with mixer rounds and memory pop quizzes. Deep or shallow, treat your class members to an aquatic cardio workout that includes neurobic exercises to stimulate the brain.  

Aqua Alphabet was inspired by a subscriber request to create a workout with an alphabet theme. Truthfully, I wasn’t quite sure what she meant by this, but I decided to accept the challenge. My version of an alphabet themed aqua class was to select 26 water exercises that correspond to the letter of the alphabet. For example, “A” for ankle reaches, “B” for bicep bubbles, “C” for chest flies, and so on. Some of the letters, especially XYZ became very challenging, and I had to get creative. The routine is mostly taught linear, but I added in some mixer rounds and pop quizzes to improve mental acuity. Like I often do, I strived to make the exercise routine dual depth, meaning that it can be taught in both deep and shallow water. This routine does not require equipment. All that is needed is water’s resistance. Watch the video below for more information on Aqua Alphabet and then read more about the class format and props used. 



There are many ways that Aqua Alphabet could have been instructed, but I chose to keep it relatively simple. This 55-minute class format includes a brief warm-up, a cool down and 7 exercise segments. This aquatic fitness class can be taught in both deep and shallow water. Aside from a flotation belt in deep water, equipment is not used. However, feel free to encourage the use of webbed gloves to increase the water’s resistance and intensity of the workout for your class members.
Segment 1:  A-F
The first 6 water exercises are introduced after a very brief warm-up. The exercises are taught three times through. First for two music phrases (30 seconds) each, and then twice for one music phrase (15 seconds) each. This keeps the action fast paced.
Segment 2:  G-L
The next 6 exercises are taught. After the exercises in each segment are taught, there are pop quizzes to see if class members can remember the exercise that corresponds to the letter of the move. This adds some laughter and a neurobic challenge.
Segment 3:  M-S
The next 7 exercises are taught.  Because there are 26 letters in the alphabet, this round and the next one had an extra exercise and thus a higher energy output.
Segment 4:  T-Z
The last 7 exercises are introduced with another pop quiz at the end.
Segment 5:  All A-Z
Get your students ready for their final exam. All 26 exercises are taught for one music phrase (15 seconds) each. 
Segment 6:  High-Energy Mixer
It’s time for the first mixer round. This mixer round features five of the exercises that have a higher intensity.
Segment 7:  Core Mixer
This mixer round features five of the exercises that more effectively target the core muscles.
Segment 8:  Alphabet Stretch
The Alphabet is used in the final stretch with letters that indicate the muscle being stretched.  

My version of Aqua Alphabet was kept somewhat linear and rather simplified. The 26 exercises were first introduced in four groups of letters, followed by a final exam of all 26. I then made up a couple mixer rounds, choosing a high-energy theme and a core theme. The ideas for mixer rounds are endless. Consider a lower body mixer, upper body mixer, choreographed mixers, etc. This workout could very easily have been taught with add-on, which is my favorite instructional style. But again, I chose to keep it linear. If you are an interval or HIIT fan, the exercises could easily be taught with work/recovery at a higher intensity. By including pop quizzes you are helping your class members improve mental acuity and memory recall. 

In case you are interested in the props I used; I am happy to share. The HCBY Magnetic Chalkboard (sandwich board) used to display the letters is $68.00 and available on Amazon. You could also get a simple Magnetic Dry-Erase board for around $35.00. The board, recommended by Cindy Vance Brossman is honestly a game-changer as it is ideal for pinning notes to while teaching or practicing. You can secure your notes with Ant Mag Magnetic Push Pins.  The Large Magnetic Alphabet Letters are available for $18.00.  

I hope you enjoy teaching Aqua Alphabet as much as I did. This is one of those themed classes that can be re-imagined and re-introduced many times. Ready…set…Game On!

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.