Aqua Choreography HIITS 2.0

Tuesday, July 02 2019

Get your dance on with some fun choreography and unload your athlete with high intensity ladder style drills.  Whether you teach deep, shallow or both – Aqua Choreography HIITs 2.0 is a ready-made class (warm-up to cool down) designed to excite and engage students with a mixture of choreography & drills.  

Can’t stop the choreography!   Yes, I am back with more dual depth choreography and drills.  Why the obsession you ask?   Well, as I have stated in previous blogs, teaching to both deep and shallow at the same time is a must at my YMCA due to big classes and spatial considerations.  Mixing up choreography and drills is my students’ preferred style of class.   Ever since I turned them on to Tabata & HIIT a few years ago, a full class of choreography performed at steady state is no longer appealing to them.   Now, a class just isn’t complete for them now without some heart pounding, ‘all-out effort’ HIIT drills. 


Class length – 45 minutes
Shallow Water Music BPM Recommendation:  132bpm- 135bpm
Deep Water Music BPM Recommendation:  128bpm- 133bpm
Dual Depth Music BPM Recommendation:  132bpm- 133bpm

Ladder Warm-up (5 minutes)
The warm-up is taught with ladder style timing to familiarize students with this type of up and down timing.   For example, a 30 second work segment of movement is taught dynamically, followed by a 30 second recovery segment of slower, rhythmic movement.  The 5-minute timing is achieved with going up the ladder - :15/:15, :30/:30, :45/:45 and down the ladder :30/:30 and :15/:15. 

Choreography Segment #1 (11 minutes)
This segment features 3 choreography segments.  Each combination is instructed and broken down with pyramid instruction.  Repetitions are decreased until the final 32-count combination is arrived at.  As always, instructors are encouraged to add as many repetitions as needed.  Instructors are encouraged to allow students to learn and achieve success at a pace that is more comfortable for them.  In the video, each combination is added on as taught – first Combos #1 and #2 and then Combos #1, #2 and #3. 

Ladder Drills (8 minutes)
Drills performed with ‘Ladder’ timing increase in duration until reaching the top of the ladder and then decrease in duration as the imaginary ladder is descended. Obviously, the longer a drill is performed for, the more intense it will be – provided the mode of activity is comparable.  This 8-minute segment is achieved with the following timing - :15 work/:15 recovery, :30 work/:30 recovery, :45 work/:45 recovery,  :60 work/:60 recovery,  :45 work/:45 recovery, :30 work/:30 recovery, :15 work/:15 recovery.   The work phases are high intensity and the recovery phases are moderate/low intensity. 

Choreography Segment #2  (12 minutes)
Three more combinations are introduced in this segment.  Once again they are taught with repetition reduction and the combinations are added on as they are taught.

Choreography Finale  (4 minutes)
Everyone knows that this is my favorite part.   I’m not sure my students join me in my enthusiasm.  All six choreographed combinations are taught in the finale.  Pass or fail, it is time for my students to take their final exam.  Assuming that they have diligently memorized all of the choreography, I inform them that there will be no verbal cues given.   Yeah right…   That will be the day.  I have a better chance of winning the lottery than my students memorizing choreography.   Inevitably, I end up begrudgingly ‘spoon-feeding’ them through the finale. 

Ladder Warm-Down  (5-minutes)
Once again, ladder timing is used in this portion – for no other reason than to make it slightly different from a normal cool down.   The work phase is slower, rhythmic movement and the recovery phase is static stretching.   As in the warm-up, the 5-minute timing is achieved with going up the ladder - :15/:15, :30/:30, :45/:45 and down the ladder :30/:30 and :15/:15. 

Aqua Choreography HIITs 2.0 has been a hit with my students.  Once the choreography starts flowing together there is an unmistakable feeling of dancing on the pool floor.  But life can’t be all fun and dance.   Sometimes you have to take care of business and the ladder drills get the job done.   Consider mixing and matching choreography and drills from Aqua Choreography HIITs 1.0.   Dance.  Drills.  Dance.  Drills.  Dance. Drills.   It ‘s all about mixing business and pleasure in the pool!

Looking for more dual depth ideas.   There are lots of dual depth videos streaming on the site.  Good news!  Next month you will be able to click on a category for dual depth videos.  A whole new look is coming to  Stay tuned!

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.