Tuesday, July 02 2019

(The above video preview is for the Ergo Bell Total Body Aqua Workout, posted 7/23/15)

The Ergo Bell Total Body Aqua Workout, which includes a video and a self-guided audio workout, features 10 exercises designed to target all the major muscle groups – 5 power exercises and 5 supported exercises. The power exercises target upper body and the supported exercises target core and lower body with suspended action.

In the Ergo Bell video I share a secret, finally admitting that I hate using equipment in my classes. The primary reason I hate to use equipment is because I have always taught at busy YMCA’s and JCC’s with class sizes that often number 30-50. Now try arming 30-50 people with foam and behold the chaos that ensues. Thanks to summer, classes have been smaller recently and so I tried to use equipment - and once again I turned into a psycho. Some of the students just do not listen. They tune me out when I give form cues and so I shout the SAME cue 20 times, screaming louder and louder when it becomes apparent they are ignoring me and willfully committing flagrant form errors.

And the only reason…repeat the ONLY reason…that I was brave enough to use hand held buoyant equipment in my classes is because my facility has the Aqua Sphere Ergo Bells. They offer both foam dumbbells and ergo bells but everyone grabs the ergo bells. When they are armed with the ergo bells, I am more confident that they will exercise with better form.

My confidence stems from the fact that the ergo bells are much less dense than traditional foam dumbbells. This means they can be submerged without causing the shoulders and scapula to elevate while exercising. This is really important. Weeks, months and years of exercising with shoulders elevated can cause shoulder impingement syndrome. With impingement syndrome pain is persistent and affects everyday activities. Over time, impingement syndrome can lead to inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons and bursa. And if not treated appropriately, the rotator cuff tendons can start to thin and tear. My worry is that students think if they leave a class uninjured they are home free. They don’t understand that poor form leads to chronic injury over time.

Because they are less dense, the ergo bells can also be used for neutral buoyancy, allowing students to float their legs up with ergo bells in their hands while still maintaining good shoulder alignment. This requires holding the ergo bells BELOW the level of the shoulders while floating in the water. When floating with large foam dumbbells, the body typically sinks beneath the dense foam floating on the surface causing the shoulders to elevate. With the denser foam dumbbells, a flotation belt would be recommended to provide additional buoyancy to lift the body upwards.

The way you grip the ergo bells is another feature that appeals to mature audiences. The hand is inserted through the center of the ergo bell which means the grip can be loosened a bit while moving the bells under the water. And the flat surface allows them to float on the surface as a convenient hand rest. This means the students can keep moving and still maintain control of the ergo bells without gripping. This flat surface also makes them ideal as a balance aide in mind & body programming.

Check out the video for the Ergo Bell Total Body Aqua Workout and watch the Ergo Bell promo clip in order to better view the ergo bells in action. The Ergo Bell Total Body Aqua Workout is available as a full video to Fitmotivation subscribers. Subscribers also have access to the audio download. The audio link is located below the link to the notes. The audio downloads are intended as self-guided pool workouts. The Ergo Bell workout includes 30 minutes of high intensity exercise (The 10 exercises are repeated twice) and a warm-up and stretch. The workout can easily be condensed to just 15 minutes by performing the 10 exercises just once.

There are now 4 audio workouts posted on the Fitmotivation website. Aqua Sphere’s Ergo Bells and the audio workout CD can be purchased in the Fitmotivation Store.

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.