Deep Water Aerobic Class

Tuesday, July 09 2024

Take a deep dive into aquatic fitness core training with Claire Barker-Hemings. Deeper Core is a 45-minute deep water aerobic class format with a special emphasis on training the core muscles for strength and endurance. 



Training the Core Aerobically
Training core muscles aerobically in the zero-gravity environment of deep water is both challenging and fun. Without the pool floor to stabilize and propel off, exercises become much more difficult to execute. Deep water exercise is much more dependent on the involvement of core muscles, which includes the muscles responsible for posture. As Claire explains in her blog video, postural muscles must work all day long and so training them aerobically for endurance is ideal. This class format also includes interval training with a hard, harder, and hardest approach.

Equipment Options 
Since this is a deep-water workout, a flotation belt is necessary. Beyond safety concerns, a flotation belt frees your arms and legs up to work more aerobically and with a full range of motion (ROM). Not convinced.  Watch Mark G explain in the video – Why Wear a BeltWebbed gloves can be worn for added upper body resistance.  Likewise, Aqualogix Hybrid Fins can be considered for extra lower body resistance.

Aquatic Fitness Class-at-a-Glance
Deeper Core is a 45-minute aquatic fitness class format that features a warm-up, cool down and five exercise segments. Watch Claire talk more about the workout in the video below, and then read the short article written by her regarding her inspiration for the Deeper Core workout.



Deeper Core Inspiration
By Claire Barker-Hemings
Deep water training offers a unique and challenging environment that can significantly enhance core strength and endurance. Unlike shallow water training where the pool floor aids movement and posture maintenance, deep water workouts require individuals to adapt to being suspended without that support. Core muscles become vital in deep water exercises, being engaged constantly, especially when incorporating upper body and rotational movements along with various working positions.

When designing a deep-water workout, it is crucial to focus on correct form and encourage your class to utilize full range of movement. By incorporating aerobic components throughout the session, you can help boost endurance, which helps postural muscles sustain prolonged activity to support daily activities.

Remember that in everyday life, individuals often need to exert power in their movements and for this reason, tailoring the workout to challenge participants with pyramid interval formats in the final rounds can encourage them to push their limits and enhance strength through simple yet effective exercises.

The question of whether to use a belt in deep water training frequently arises. The unequivocal answer is yes – a belt is essential for providing neutral buoyancy to enable clients to focus on executing movements with proper alignment and full range. Without a belt, individuals may have to exert excess effort to remain afloat, compromising the intended muscle engagement and risking safety in case of medical issues. Gloves are another valuable addition to the workout, providing extra resistance without affecting buoyancy.

As an instructor, being vigilant and proactive in coaching is imperative during deep water sessions. Observing participants' movements to ensure they stay stationary when required, and providing specific cues for corrections is key. It's highly recommended to try the workout yourself beforehand to understand its nuances and better guide your clients through it effectively.

Lastly, emphasizing the importance of slowing down during the exercises is crucial. Many tend to rush through movements in deep water, leading to compromised form and reduced effectiveness. Coaching participants to focus on power, range of motion, and acceleration can ensure their bodies are properly overloaded for optimal results.

In summary, deep water training offers a dynamic and engaging way to improve strength, endurance, and overall fitness levels. By following these principles and focusing on form, resistance, and coaching cues, instructors can create impactful deep water workouts that challenge participants while ensuring safe and effective training sessions. So gear up, dive in, and have fun exploring the depths of deep water training!


Claire is an aquatic fitness training specialist in Australia where she trains and certifies water fitness instructors.  Fitmotivation extends a big thanks to her for sharing her expertise and passion with subscribers. Stay tuned for a fun noodle workout with Claire, posting later this month.


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.