Tuesday, July 02 2019

The video preview is for Deep, Deep, Deeper, which posted in the Premium plan on 1/17/17.

Exercising in deep water is the ultimate experience of freedom of movement.  Thanks to zero gravity, the body can move in many directions.  U.K. Aqua Expert, Steph Toogood, demonstrates freedom of movement in a deep water adventure that will take you vertical, horizontal, diagonal and in all movement planes.  Get ready for a DEEP cardio challenge, DEEP muscular endurance and an even DEEPER core challenge.


Perhaps like me, your favourite class to teach or to participate in is deep water, but maybe you feel there are less choreography options than when teaching or exercising in shallow.

Deep, Deep, Deeper offers deep muscular endurance progressions, a deep cardiovascular challenge plus multi-planar deep movement to challenge the core.  Using basic moves, such as jog, kick, jax and cross country in not only vertical but horizontal and diagonal positions - and then changing to sagital, frontal and transverse planes, we will produce complex joint movement to challenge all fitness levels.  The body can lean at 45° or work prone and supine to create flowing patterns.  Travel can add yet another dimension. 

This is an interesting format with unusual routines and multi-moves with maxi progressions.  By changing working position regularly, even using this change as a transition, many layers of choreography can be obtained in the open kinematic environment of deep water. 

Initially students need to be “water proofed”.  Safety is a prime concern and buoyancy, such as a flotation belt, should be secured centrally on the body. The buoyant aid should be chosen individually and the fitting is key.  My recommendation would be tight and low on the body with many females choosing to wear the belt with the fastening at the back to improve posture by balancing the natural buoyancy of the hips with the additional buoyancy of the equipment. 

For this programme the use of mitts/webs will assist with balance, propulsion and aid stability.  The multi-directional changes rely on assistance from the upper body to move the lower body.  Good sculling skills and an understanding of water movement are essential using their chosen flotation equipment. 

Once students have good alignment both statically and dynamically it is advisable to spend time to check good diaphragmatic breathing, practise sculling skills and recovery to vertical from both supine and prone.  It is also important to rehearse basic moves to ensure full extension during jogging and to encourage students to minimise spinal flexion.  Research shows that poor alignment in deep water can produce considerable spinal compression comparable with compression found in a gravitational situation.

Deep water is suitable for all populations.  This programme is safe for deconditioned students as well as fitter participants.  Some moves will need modification. You may not want to progress moves to prone position initially.  Use an appropriate tempo for the fitness level of the class.  An intensity progression can be obtained by varying the combos, lessening the repetitions and increasing range of motion and finally increasing cadence.  The bigger surface area with the use of mitts plus the added buoyancy and surface area from shoes will enhance the workout and optimise the challenge.

The practical choreography notes are included with the video. You will be able to take each segment and add your own ideas.  This format gives you a good variety of combinations and progression but the choice is infinite.  Use your imagination to expand my ideas and start to explore the huge number of variations and progressions that will flow naturally into your very own deep water adventure.

Steph is the founder of Hydro-Actif, the U.K.’s leading resource for aquatic fitness certification, education and products.  Deep, Deep, Deeper is also available as a DVD through both Hydro-Actif and AEA’s AKWA Shop.  Look for Steph at the International Aquatic Fitness Conference (IAFC) in May.  

Fitmotivation would like to extend BIG thanks to Steph for sharing her workout.  In 2016, Steph produced two original Fitmotivation videos – 360 Degree Angles for Balance & Core and Hand Buoy ABCs.   Both videos have received lots of great comments from video viewers.  Steph also has two other previously produced DVDs streaming on – Hand Buoy Solutions and Mature Moves.  She will be back in Florida filming next month.   Stay tuned!

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.