Tuesday, July 02 2019

Experiencing deep-water doldrums?  Wishing you could wave a magic wand over your class and SHAZAM a new routine would appear?  Your wish has been granted.  Aqua fairy godmother, Katrien Lemahieu, shares three magic formulas for re-inventing deep-water base moves.  Throw some pixie dust in the pool and have fun mixing and matching moves to create an enchanting deep-water adventure. 

Deep-water classes have traditionally been taught with a more freestyle approach, instructing base moves, such as jogs, kicks, jacks and skis in a linear fashion.  Travel is typically the most common variation technique employed in deep water programming.   Choreography that features more intricate variation techniques is less common in deep water programming, as instructors often feel limited with their movement opportunities.  Deep Magic Match is a long overdue tutorial that provides instructors with deep-specific techniques for creating more intricate base move variations and thus expanding opportunities for designing creative combinations and choreography. 

Why is it so important for instructors to develop skills in creating base move variations?  Base moves represent the clay that fitness instructors build their routines with.   Every fitness modality has base moves and aquatic fitness is no exception.   Aquatic base moves interact effectively with the properties of water and are simple to teach and easy to follow.  However, if the base moves are never varied or progressed - adaptation ceases, results plateau and boredom sets in.  Ongoing fitness results are only realized if the principle of progressive overload is applied.  Progressive overload is achieved by making small, incremental changes in programming over time.   Changes in programming are easily achieved by varying the base moves to alter intensity, hence the importance of this skillset. 

Techniques for creating base move variations in shallow water programming have been featured in several Fitmotivation videos, including the Aqua Free series which featured videos depicting variations in arm patterns,travel & direction, impact level,tempo and combined moves.  Australian aqua expert, Dom Gili, also delivered a comprehensive tutorial regarding base move variations in his video, So You Think You Can Aqua.  Netherlands Aqua Expert, Katrien Lemahieu, now expands this Fitmotivation series with a video dedicated to deep-water techniques for varying base moves and creating routines that promote fitness gains. 

This 54-minute video includes a warm-up, three segments featuring the variation techniques and then a final combination that demonstrates mixing and matching the three techniques.  This format can be utilized as a full class, however the intention behind the video was to provide ideas for expanding your deep-water movement library. 

Segment 1:  Warm-up
Four base moves are introduced in this segment, jogs, jacks, skis and kicks.  Each base move is taught with simple variations of repetitions, tempo and limb direction.  The purpose of this segment is to establish these simple base move variations before applying the magic pixie dust with the three more complex variation techniques.

Segment 2:  Tilting
Tilting involves a change in body position – whether moving the body forward and back in the sagittal plane, or moving the body laterally in the frontal plane.  Katrien recommends maintaining an upright torso and only moving the lower extremities during the tilting exercises.   However, slight adjustments of torso will occur as the lower body moves forwards or sideways.   Hands play an important role with sculling so that alignment is maintained and the core is engaged.   The core will definitely be engaged in this segment when the bases moves and their established variations are performed forwards and sideways.

Segment 3:  Twisting
Twisting movements are used in this segment to once again reinvent the base moves and their established variations.  Twisting movements are performed in the transverse plane, which means different muscles are targeted.  However, the core is still the focus as torso rotation is the primary movement.  Twisting movements require the arms to move in opposition of the legs.  Katrien recommends focusing on the movements of the legs, as this will trigger more action from the core.

Segment 4:  Topping
Topping involves upwards propulsion of the body.  This is by far the most intense segment and requires more technical skills to keep the movements intact.  Upwards propulsion is often used with flutter kicks or eggbeaters, but the intention here is to rise out of the water while performing the established base moves as is.  Katrien encourages the use of lower body strength to push out of the water as opposed to using the hands to assist upwards.     

Segment 5:  Final Combination
Abracadabra!  A magic wand has been waved over the four base moves and the result is a newly expanded library of movement that feature tilting, twisting and topping.  It is time to play the match game.   Mix and match movements from the tilting, twisting and topping segments to create challenging and innovative deep water combinations.  Designing choreography for deep water can be just as easy and fun as shallow water when you have an expanded library of moves to choose from.  Mixing and matching will keep your classes exciting, engaging and most importantly progressive, which will ensure fitness gains for your students. 

Fitmotivation once again extends BIG THANKS to Katrien Lemahieu and her Kataqua Team for their production efforts in the Netherlands.  Fitmotivation truly is a global Aqua Nation.  Special thanks goes to Elson Dos Santos for his stellar performance as the student.  Check out Elson’s Fitmotivation video, Afro-robics.  Katrien’s husband, Jeroen Bockweg, also deserves thanks for his excellence in videography.  Check out other videos from Katrien and the Kataqua Team, including, Aquatic Ladder Challenge, Aqua T-System, BioExercise and Working 5 to 9.  And stay tuned next month as Katrien and Elson are back with H.E.A.T – High Energy Aquatic Training.  

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.