Deep Water Deck instruction

Wednesday, May 26 2021

Exercising in zero gravity creates unique training opportunities.  The neutral buoyancy provided by a flotation belt adds another layer of innovation to deep water fitness.  Deep Cardio & Core showcases a fun and challenging 45-minute workout and provides teaching tips for the rigors of leading a deep water fitness class from deck. 

Fitmotivation strives to post dual depth (sha-deep) videos as much as possible so that instructors can teach the routine in either depth.  But just as we post shallow specific workouts, we also like to post deep specific workouts because they provide exercise results that cannot be achieved anywhere else. Deep water exercise is performed in 100% buoyancy and zero gravity.  There is no other exercise experience like it.  Not only impact free on your joints, deep water exercise with a flotation belt allows for acrobatic maneuvering of the body, reminiscent of astronauts floating in space.  This buoyant freedom targets muscles, especially the core, in ways other exercise cannot. 

Deep Cardio & Core
After the warm-up, the next two segments target cardiorespiratory endurance with variations of base moves.  The first segment, Cardio Prep, elevates the heartrate into the target range aerobic zone with variations of jogs and kicks. The next segment, Cardio Finisher, includes variations of skis and jacks and amps the intensity with longer levers and bigger moves.  The following two segments continue on with aerobic training, but the focus shifts to targeting core muscles.  The first segment, Core prep, features variations of moguls and tucks that move the body from vertical to horizontal with variations of moguls and tucks. The next segment, Core Finisher, digs deeper into core training with rotational movements and spinal flexion and extension in a horizontal, modified supine position. 

Deep Water Instruction Challenges
Deep water instruction poses unique challenges because the movements are performed in 100% buoyancy and the instructor on deck is in 100% gravity.  I have spent over 20 years cavorting on stools, propping myself up on ladder rails and laying on filthy deck mats trying to demonstrate deep water moves. Not fun, and I have recently come to the conclusion that I am DONE with that.  Therefore, I wanted to share some teaching hacks for conveying deep water exercises without torturing yourself.

Chair or Stool
The first prop you need on deck is a chair or stool.  I am more of a chair kinda guy.  Stools are scary and easy to fall off from. The problem with chairs is that they are lower and brutal on your hip flexors if you are tall.  However, I feel more comfortable in a chair because there is a wider base of support to maneuver on.  A chair also comes in handy for standing next to it and holding on to for balance when demonstrating moves.  My right foot is a mess from teaching 15 step-aerobic classes a week in the 90’s.

Noodle Legs
Good news!  There is no need to pivot your body from side to side on a stool demonstrating side shoots when you have “noodle legs” handy!   Just cut a pool noodle in half and you have noodle legs that you can sweep from side to side.  Noodle legs also come in handy for long lever jacks, kicks and skis.  Place a pair of baby shoes on your noodle to make them look more authentic.  The lighted shoes are the best! 

Shoes on Hands
For shorter lever moves or those that require flexion and extension of the hips and knees, consider placing an old pair of water shoes on your hands.  The ability to bend at the elbow joint mimics the ability to bend at the knees.  Placing shoes on your hands is a strong cue that you are using your arms as legs.  Without the shoes on your hands, the participants would just think you are performing a fancy new arm pattern.  Believe...been there!

Flotation Belt
The flotation belt is what allows the body to be positioned in a horizontal, modified supine position for abdominal/core work.  This would not be possible without a belt, unless someone has an abundantly buoyant body type that allows them to float without sculling or effort. There are many reasons why a flotation belt is required for deep water and even buoyant body types should be aware of these reasons. 

Video Music
The music play list used in this video, Seniors 3, is from Power Music and can be purchased/downloaded for $14.95.

Deep Core Express
I created a separate video that included the two core segments for Poolfit subscribers, in case they wanted to keep the shorter video stored in their Downloads on the Poolfit App and combine it with another video on days they wanted extra core training.  I decided to upload Deep Core Express to Fitmotivation to remind subscribers that it is okay to cherry pick videos and just use one or two segments of a video in one of their classes.  Either of the two core segments would make an ideal way to end a deep water class. 

Summer is coming!  If you have access to a pool and want to get IN the pool and exercise to some videos, keep in mind that Poolfit offers a FREE TRIAL MONTH. And yes, even if you are signed up with Fitmotivation - it doesn't matter - they are separate sites and you will automatically get a free month upon sign-up as long as you have not registered on the Poolfit site before.   You can sign up, try out the water exercise app for a month and follow along with some of your favorite Fitmotivation videos.  (Poolfit uses the same videos) Just remember to CANCEL one day prior to your first billing date.  Similar to Fitmotivation, the Poolfit Account Settings include your billing date and a simple CANCEL BUTTON.  Don't be emailing us!  We have nothing to do with YOUR cancellation! 
Check out these short video tutorials that explain the Poolfit App. 

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.