Tuesday, July 02 2019

Do you ever feel like you teach the same moves over and over again? Welcome to the club! We all teach the same moves – jacks, skis, kicks, jogs, pendulums, leaps, rocking horse and more. These are the base moves our aquatic pioneers handed down to us. But base moves need not be boring and redundant, they just need to be spruced up with variations. Dress base moves up with a new arm pattern, travel opportunity, directional change, impact option or tempo variation and ‘Presto!’ have a new move!

Aqua Free is my new workshop in 2015 and it features the instructional style known as Linear Progression or free-style. Many instructors teach linear or freestyle, meaning they teach through a series of movements without creating predictable sequencing. In Aqua Free, I will showcase this instructional style with a twist. The series of moves instructed will be variations of base moves - LOTS of variations of base moves. Call this class “Any which way you can”...and yes I stole that name from a suggestion given to me by one of my workshop attendees. Think of it this way – you could teach over 50 variations of a jumping jack for 10-15 minutes in your class simply by changing arms, travel, direction, tempo or impact and by combining that jack with other moves. And then you could do the same thing with cross country skis, jogs, kicks and more.

One of the most important skill sets an instructor can possess is the ability to create base moves variations. Rather than trying to invent a new move never before seen in the world of fitness, it is easier to reinvent a move with a variation. The ability to do this will insure that you have a well-stocked library of moves to build routines. You should never feel limited or bored. Once you start applying all the variations at your disposal, your movement options will seem endless.

Aqua Free will be posted as a 5-part video on the Fitmotivation website. The first video, Aqua Free - Arms, will focus on changing base moves with arm variations and patterns. In this video you learn how applying bilateral symmetrical, bilateral reciprocal and unilateral arm variations triples options for anatomical movements such as flexion, extension, abduction, adduction and more. Every time you change the arm pattern you change the outcome of the movement because either different muscles are recruited or the same muscles are recruited but in a different way. In the video, just changing the arms creates nearly 30 variations of a base move. Now imagine 30 different jacks, 30 different skis or 30 different jogs – just by changing the arms.

And it only gets better. Part 2 will feature creating base move variations with travel and directional changes. Part 3 will be impact options. Part 4 will be tempo variations and part 5 will be combining base moves to create a new move. By the time this video series wraps up you will be a pro at reinventing base moves and you will have endless moves in your possession.

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.