Thursday, November 07 2019

Aqua Gym Fitness (AGF) releases their third workout on Fitmotivation with a more purist approach to aqua combat thanks to AGF founder Stephanie Newberry’s experience in martial art competition and instruction.  Combat Basics features 5 pyramid blocks of punches and kicks that progress as each block is added on; culminating in a final block that features 11 minutes of heart pounding combat action. 

The aquatic fitness industry is celebrating 20 years of combat popularity, dating back to when Taebo and kickboxing were all the craze in fitness studios.  Conference sessions and videos have shown aqua combat taught in a variety of ways since the late 90’s.  Instructors should take note that Combat Basics is not just another kickboxing choreography workout.  The martial arts moves are taught in an interval format, rather than to the beat of the music.  This allows participants to execute the moves at their own pace in timed sets.  The workout was created based on Stephanie’s years of experience in martial arts and maintaining purity in the form of the kicks and punches was of utmost importance to her. 

Trained in the Korean martial art called Tang Soo Do, a form of Tai Kwon Do, Stephanie earned her black belt in 2009 and is still a proud member of the United Tang Soo Do Federation. “I fell in love with the discipline of martial arts, not only physically but also mentally,” says Stephanie. During the time of her ranks, she began working at the karate school assisting in instruction and continued to do that well after her black belt. Stephanie also participated in several tournaments as a competitor as well as a corner judge.

Introducing combat into her water fitness classes after she got certified, Stephanie soon discovered that it is not for everyone. “People who are used to the traditional aqua aerobics that works to the beat of the music, often find these movements complicated.”  She encourages instructors to consider dedicating a specific time or class for combat instruction. “Those who do seek it out, truly love it and those who don’t can avoid that class time,” advises Stephanie.

Combat Basics is AGF’s third workout on Fitmotivation.  They were just here over the summer filming their first two videos. Learning about Stephanie’s background in martial arts I insisted that she had to come back and do a combat video. Kickboxing has always been when of my favorite aqua formats to teach.  The challenge for Stephanie in bringing this to many more people via a video was in stripping away some of the complexity she is accustomed to her in her classes.  “I tried to keep this routine simple enough that the consumer can learn the movements and practice proper form because it is important to get the basics down first before adding more techniques and complexity,” says Stephanie.  If the subscribers respond favorably to Combat Basics, Stephanie is hoping to come back and film a full series of AquaGym Fitness Combat videos. 

AquaGym Fitness Workout #3 – Combat Basics:  Video-at-Glance
This workout includes 5 blocks.  Each block introduces a base pyramid of two moves.  The base pyramids for each block are added-on in each block, culminating in all 5 base pyramids in Block 5.


00:15 Move #1

00:30 Move #2

00:45 Move #1 & #2 performed together

00:30 Move #2

00:15 Move #1

Alan Glass has practiced several forms of martial arts and was also an instructor at one time. Unfortunately, the art itself can wear the body down.  Due to joint issues he thought he would have to leave his love of martial arts behind.  Thankfully he discovered AquaGym Fitness and has been taking AGF Combat classes for several years. “He is a perfect example as to why Aqua Combat is so beneficial,” says Stephanie.   

A stickler on form, Stephanie advises instructors to be sure that they are demonstrating proper form themselves.  “I preview the moves slowly at first and often tell my students to keep their focus on speed, power, and accuracy.” According to Stephanie, this translates into how fast they do the technique, how hard they do the technique and trying to keep the movement to the same location, like the height of the kick or the location of the hand technique. “Encourage your clients to stay focused and don't allow them to get frustrated.” Watch Stephanie explain the mental aspects of martial arts

Combat Basics can be performed without any added equipment.  Combat is ideal in the water because the punches and kicks are performed against the resistance of the water.   Adding webbed gloves or Aqualogix upper body bells can maximize drag resistance to the punches. Aqualogix lower body blades would be ideal for the kicks.  In the video, Alan is also using aqua boxing gloves available through Indigo Aquatics.

AquaGym Fitness is an aquatic fitness company based in northern Florida in the Jacksonville area offering private training and classes in resort communities, country clubs and recreation centers.   Fitmotivation extends a big thank you to both Stephanie and Alexis for traveling to Sarasota and filming their first videos - including the recently posted Partner Drills and Run2Strength.  Stay tuned for more AquaGym Fitness Workouts in the near future. 



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.