Tuesday, July 02 2019

Short on buoys?  Italian Aqua Training Specialist, Antonio Russo, demonstrates how you can substitute bottled water for hand held equipment in his video, Aqua Bottle Training.   This fun water workout features aqua choreography for upper & lower body and core.  The choreographed sequences in this video can also be performed without equipment, using only the water’s resistance. 

The use of non-traditional equipment in the pool is not for everyone.   I heard the complaints regarding the plastic shopping bag workout loud and clear.  However, I remain committed to showcasing aqua innovation on an international scale.    The Frisbee workout from Israel.  The plastic shopping bag workout from Belgium.   And now the water bottle workout from Italy.  These workouts represent creative solutions to low funding and scarce equipment, a struggle that instructors all across the globe share.  Creative innovation deserves a spotlight.  (No doubt, I would get way more complaints if I posted videos that featured exorbitantly expensive equipment!)

Regardless of whether you use water bottles or substitute with other equipment, or use no equipment at all; Aqua Bottle Training is another example of superbly taught choreography.   Not crazy about the water bottles?   Skip them and instead focus on HOW Antonio teaches the movements in this video.   In each of the segments, he spends a few minutes introducing the base moves of that segment.  Once the base moves are established, he builds a combination of the base moves at 16 or 32 counts of music per move – and then he reduces to 8 or 16 counts of each move.  And then the key to watch for here is how he LAYERS some of the base moves with a slight change involving travel, arms or cadence.  The end result is that a few moves go a long way towards creating an entire class of excitement and engagement.



This segment features an introduction of base moves, which are then taught in a sequenced combination with some layering. 

Chest, Back & Shoulders

Same as the warm-up, this segment features an introduction of base moves, which are then taught in a sequenced combination with some layering. 


In this segment, two combinations of arm movements are taught.

Legs & Abs

This segment features movements for the legs and core by placing a water bottle first behind one leg and then between both legs. 

Cool Down

A rhythmic, freestyle cool down is offered. 

IMPORTANT INSTRUCTION REMINDER: Please use common sense and modify the exercises, the cadence and the techniques demonstrated in this video to accommodate your population.   Aquatic fitness is taught very differently across the globe.  In many European countries, classes are taught late in the evenings, thus attracting a younger audience.

EQUIPMENT SUBSTITUTE:  A bottle of water FLOATS in the pool and thus the forces of buoyancy affects it.  All equipment use encounters drag forces as well.  A set of small hand buoys would be an acceptable substitute.  However, please consider slowing the cadence down.  Teach more movements at the slower water and half water tempos.  Choose music with a lower BPM.  The BPM used in the video was 135bpm.   Personally, I would teach the upper body moves without equipment as well because the choreography is fun and challenging with just the water’s resistance. would like to extend a big THANK YOU to Antonio Russo for providing video viewers with an innovative workout using non-traditional equipment.    Connect with Antonio on his Facebook page and say hello to both him and AndreaGilardoni at theInternational Aquatic Fitness Conference (IAFC).


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.