Tuesday, July 02 2019

(Above video: Aqua 2 for 1 posted on January 5)

It is the first week of January and that means health clubs will be packed. New faces will appear in your classes this month, as Health Seekers make good on their New Year’s Resolution. Get ready for this influx on a permanent basis because the Baby Boomers are aging and pursuing fitness activities that don’t hurt their bodies. Stand proud AquaNation – this is OUR time to shine. But can your classes accommodate more people? If space is already tight, there may be a solution.

Since moving to Florida I have learned a new meaning for the word SEASON. The word “season” is a one-word description Floridians use to describe the January through April mass migration of northern Snow Birds. Traffic triples, beach parking disappears and the aquatic fitness classes at the YMCA where I teach get completely maxed out. That is, they max out UNLESS you learn how to teach to the entire pool at the same time – both shallow and deep ends.

Given the fact that I don’t have a choice in the matter, I have been hard at work creating various formats that work in both deep and shallow water. In addition to increasing pool space, there are other benefits to teaching a simultaneous deep and shallow water class. Some students have a strong preference for either deep or shallow. Non-swimmers and many seniors prefer the shallow end. Fit participants and those with impact issues prefer the deep end. Creating a class that caters to both means you are providing better customer service.

Over the years, I have gotten really ticked off having to provide modifications to participants in the shallow end during my deep water class - and vice versa. Simply put, it is a pain in the rear to have to modify every move. One of the primary benefits of teaching a simultaneous format is that you never have to modify anything.

But if you are going to attempt to teach a simultaneous format there are a few tips you should know about.

  • Movement selection is imperative. Some base moves do not work well in both depths. Plan out your routines
  • Keep in mind that participants in deep water will have belts on and those in shallow will not. This may limit some traditional deep water activities
  • It is best to skip hand held equipment as it does not always work well in both depths simultaneously
  • Select a music tempo that is mid-range, such as 132bpm

Are you ready to create some simultaneous deep and shallow water programs? Please consider subscribing to the Fitmotivation website. Currently playing are several videos depicting simultaneous deep & shallow water programming.

Aqua 2 for 1 (posting on January 5 - Premium only) This full-length video was the first simultaneous deep and shallow water program that I created. Choreography fans will love this format as it features the Layer technique, where a base combination is changed one move at a time until a new combination of moves is created.

Deep Triads (currently playing in Premium Only) This video features a routine comprised of three segments – deep water running, cardio drills and strength combinations with hand held buoyant equipment. Originally designed as a deep program, it was later modified as a mostly simultaneous format to accommodate my YMCA classes.

Sha-Deep (currently playing in Basic & Premium) Looking for some ideas to add High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your classes. Watch this full-length (45 minute) video and take away choreography and HIIT ideas for simultaneous deep & shallow instruction.

Cool Core Choreography (currently playing in Basic & Premium) This video is all about powerful core moves, performed vertically and requiring no equipment. This core routine can be used as a cool down or inserted into your cardio segment. Best of all, it works in both depths.

Get ready, get set, the Health Seekers are coming! And get busy watching videos on the Fitmotivation website so that you can unleash shock and awe in your classes with a new simultaneous deep and shallow format.

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.