Tuesday, July 02 2019

If you like using foam dumbbells in your classes you will enjoy the recently posted video, SplAsh Toning.  Ashley B. presents an entire class format with hand buoys, including cardio combinations, interval bursts and ideas for hand/wrists breaks.

Subscribers apparently cannot get enough programming with the foam dumbbells because it is the most requested video content.  And so per my request, AEA Training Specialist, Ashley Bishop, included a hand buoy routine during our last filming.  Ashley teaches this choreography-inspired routine in her classes and thus based on observations of her own students shares issues you may encounter with a more structured approach once your students are armed with hand buoys.

Choreographed Approach
  An instructor after my own heart, Ashley says that 80% of the time her classes are taught without equipment and focused on choreography blocks and intervals all taught to the beat the music.  SplAsh Toning is just that, but with added equipment.   The cardio combinations are taught with add-on and pyramid instructional styles.  The choreography is blended with interval bursts to spike up the steady state training and give the brain a rest from the sequenced choreography. 

Smaller-Sized Buoys
 Like many instructors, Ashley has learned that smaller is better when it comes to hand buoys.  Observing her students struggling with larger buoys, Ashley strongly recommends smaller sized buoys for the choreography segments to allow for full range of motion and smoother transitions.  “Depending on the facility I'm teaching this workshop or class in, modifications to the combinations are sometimes made given the size of the buoys that are available,” says Ashley.

Instructional Tip
Incorporating buoys into choreography can often lead to challenges with coordination, form and alignment.  Ashley’s solution is to teach the lower body movement first, while the arms remain neutral – resting and floating at the surface.  “When the class is all on the same page with the legs, we add the arms to the mix.”  Ashley also strongly recommends that instructors get in the pool and try the hand buoy choreography themselves.  “By doing this, one is able to easily recognize where tweaks, modifications or personal touches can be added in the lesson plan.”  

Pair vs. Single Buoy
 SplAsh Toning also includes one segment that features a single buoy.  “I wanted to include this segment because there are occasions where we show up to teach and there isn't enough equipment available to accommodate everyone,” says Ashley. Switching from a pair of buoys to a single buoy can also provide a rest from gripping if the ends of the single buoy are held with flat palms. 

Hand/Wrist Breaks
Speaking of hand breaks; Ashley designed the program to be taught with continuous use of the buoys.  “This entire lesson plan is done in away where wrist breaks are given often, which means the participants could keep their equipment for the duration of those segments,” says Ashley.  If you have ever taught a class with hand buoys you will understand why she did this.  Woe unto the instructor who sends the students back and forth to the pool edge to retrieve their equipment.  They quickly learn that this will turn into a huge production of wasted time and unwelcome chat.   With that said, AEA Guidelines do recommend frequent hand and wrist breaks and so be sure to implement some of Ashely’s strategies or just let the students set the buoys on the  water’s surface while they shake out their hands and fingers.

As always, Fitmotivation extends a big thank you to Ashley Bishop for traveling from Las Vegas to Florida for filming.  Stay tuned as Ashley has one other video posting at the end of this month - Aqua Adage, a ballet-themed Express video    And be sure to check out her previous Fitmotivation Videos –Circuit CircusDynamically RhythmicAqua Allegro and Cardio Combos.   If you prefer to buy the video downloads individually, Ashley currently has Aqua Allegro and Cardio combos for sale and she will soon be offering the other videos as downloads on her website.   If you are interested in these downloads or in attending or hosting Ashley’s CEC workshops, please visit Bagel Fit by Ashley Bishop.



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.