Tuesday, July 02 2019

Take an express trip with aqua icon, Ruth Sova and explore 10 travel opportunities for strengthening the core in the pool.  Explore vertical core training that is performed while moving, including progressions in walking, travel, arm patterns, turbulence and more.  Take away ideas for incorporating core-friendly movement in warm-ups, cool downs, water walking and personal training.

Water walking is highly underrated.  In the video, 10/10 Vertical Core, Ruth demonstrates the power of striding with movement variations that transform water walking into an effective core exercise.   Walk & stop, walk on toes, walk on heels, walk with toes in and toes out, walk with various arm patterns, walk with self created turbulence, walk with varying tempos.  The ideas are endless for getting more from the core and improving trunk stability, posture and balance. 

Take your water walking to the next level by learning how to script a walking journey with cues and variations to further enhance core recruitment.  Ruth introduces and demonstrates a training protocol called Unpredictable Command Technique (UCT).   As shown in the video, Ruth performs a series of walking variations from a prepared script read off camera.  Changes in travel direction, body alignment and limbs all combine to challenge the core with abrupt and unpredictable changes. Creative scripting can serve as an invaluable tool for improving core, posture and balance; all while creating a fun challenge for students.  Check out a script that includes a 45-second UCT sample featuring water walking with core enhanced variables and an additional 60-second sample with more advanced changes.

Aquatic base moves can also be altered to increase core recruitment by varying arms, alignment and travel direction.  Ruth demonstrates tweaks to jumping jacks, cross country skis, side steps, rocking horse and kicks that more effectively engage the core. Simple adjustments to a base move can completely change the outcome of the movement.   In her video, Extension for Function, Ruth demonstrates tweaks to base moves that encourage extension and improve posterior muscle recruitment.   Looking for new stretching ideas?  Ruth shares ideas for transforming Ai Chi postures into a stretching routine in her video, Ai Chi ROM.

Vertical trunk control and core strength are intrinsically linked to balance training and fall prevention.   Many of the same training techniques in this video can be used to achieve improvements in balance.  Therefore, Ruth also shares 10 exercises for standing balance in the companion video, 10/10 Standing Balance.   As with the vertical core exercises, the balance exercises all have their own variations that add creativity and results to training outcomes.  Both videos provide instructors with 20 training ideas and enhanced education for making movement more meaningful. 

The introduction of Ruth’s two “express videos” for core and balance represent a new concept that Fitmotivation is testing. We actively encourage feedback and have made significant changes over the last four years based on customer comments.   Feedback on video content is almost always good, but some instructors say they have difficulty finding the time to watch the videos.  This fall we will start test-piloting TWO shorter express videos (15-20 minutes) in place of ONE full-length video. And so now two full-length videos and two express videos will post each month.  Nothing is permanent.   We will simply test the concept for a few months and monitor feedback.  If subscribers hate it we will switch back. 

Fitmotivation extends big thanks to Ruth Sova for not only once again sharing her talent, passion and experience – but for suggesting the shorter content videos.   Ruth is the original founder of the Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA) and the founder and president of the Aquatic Therapy & Rehab Institute (ATRI).   If you are looking to expand your fitness horizons and delve more into specialized training you may want to explore the ATRI Event calendar for events and workshops near you.    And don’t forget to shop the ATRI marketplace for products and education that is geared more towards rehab and special populations.    

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.