Tuesday, July 02 2019

Explore an easy-to-teach format that not only provides an effective workout with a game-like approach, but also builds an instructor’s skills in achieving muscle balance and seamless flow.  AEA Training Specialist, Jenni Lynn Patterson-LaCour, shares Freestyle Flow, a routine that defines her signature approach to freestyle instruction. 

If you enjoyed teaching a routine based on base move variations in The Change Game, you will definitely appreciate “The Plane Challenge” in Jenni Lynn’s latest class format.   Both videos deliver an effective workout while enhancing an instructor’s skills and knowledge.  The primary objective in Freestyle Flow is to help instructors improve their knowledge in the planes of motion and thus achieve better muscle balance in their class routines.  The secondary objective is to demonstrate seamless transitions and class planning using a freestyle approach rather than more structured choreography. 

Freestyle Flow was created when Jenni lynn was studying for her AEA Aquatic Fitness Professional Certification Exam and struggling to remember the three planes of motion.   “I decided to practice on my students and challenge myself to teach as many exercises in each plane of motion as I could remember,” says Jenni Lynn.   Freestyle Flow is easy to teach because an instructor would start with one of the planes of motion, such as sagittal, teach as many moves as they could think of and then move on to the next plane.  Teaching a class like this not only creates greater awareness of movement selection; the students benefit from a workout that features muscle balance.  Each of the planes of motion targets different muscle groups and therefore selecting movements from all three planes is the easiest way to ensure a balanced workout.   

A secondary benefit of teaching in this manner is that flow is achieved more easily when movements of one plane are transitioned with movements in the same plane. After several of my students started commenting about how they enjoyed that the exercises flowed nicely from one move to the next, I realized there was a freestyle flow to my way of teaching,” says Jenni Lynn.  Never much of a fan of structured choreography, Jenni Lynn says she was thrilled to find out while she was studying for the AEA exam that “freestyle” is considered one of the five “choreography styles” mentioned by AEA as a means of instructing movement.   According to AEA, freestyle or linear instruction is a series of moves taught without predictable patterning, yet still requiring class planning for smooth transitions and muscle balance.

Simply teaching a series of moves without adding any variational techniques would get a bit boring.   Jenni Lynn spices up the flow and intensity by changing up the linear moves with impact levels and variations in arms, legs, tempo and levers.  Jenni Lynn strongly encourages instructors to practice their routine in the water themselves on a regular basis so that they can feel the flow and adjust accordingly.


Segment 1:  Freestyle Flow in the Sagittal Plane
Movements in the sagittal plane include exercises that move from front to back and feature muscle groups that are targeted by flexion, extension and hyperextension.  Jenni Lynn demonstrates a series of moves that flow from jogs, to kicks to skis to tucks, jumps and more.   All are taught with variations in impact level, arms, legs, tempo and levers. 

Segment 2:  Freestyle Flow in the Frontal Plane
Movements in the frontal plane include exercises that move from side to side and feature muscle groups that are targeted with abduction, adduction and lateral flexion.  Jenni Lynn demonstrates a series of moves that flow from jumping jacks, to pendulums, moguls and more. 

Segment 3:  Freestyle Flow in the Transverse Plane
Movements in the transverse plane include exercises that move parallel to the pool floor and feature muscle groups that are targeted by transverse abduction and adduction and rotation.  Jenni Lynn demonstrates a series of moves that flow from knee swings, breaststrokes, torso rotations, twists and more. 

Segment 4:  Bonus Round! 
Get ready to put on your thinking cap.  The movements in this segment feature exercises where the arms are moving in one plane and the legs are moving in another plane.  Not only does this make for some fun “neurobics,” it also helps quiet chatty students. 

Fitmotivation would like to thank Jenni Lynn Patterson-LaCour for coming to Florida to film 4 videos and for once again sharing her passion and talents with subscribers.  Check out other Fitmotivation videos featuring Jenni Lynn and the S’WET brand – including, Noodle Rx, Super Circuit 1, Wicked Wall, S’WET Boot Camp, S’WET Deep, S’WET Challenge and Wave Warrior.     Interested in hosting or attending S'WET workshops?  Visit the S'WET website or connect with them on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter.




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.