Tuesday, July 02 2019

Most Fitmotivation videos either feature NO equipment or basic tools such as hand buoys, noodles and gloves simply because most subscribers do not have access to more expensive equipment.   However, rubberized bands and loops are an affordable way to add new equipment for enhanced muscular conditioning and more diverse fitness outcomes. 


Aqua Gloves & Loops features enhanced lower body resistance with rubberized aqua loops while also targeting upper body with webbed gloves and drag resistance.  Australian Aqua Presenter, Claire Barker Hemings loves using the Aqua Loops in her classes and wanted to share some moves she uses in her classes.

The loops in this video are produced by Meglio and are latex free and specially designed for durability in the aquatic environment.   The Meglio Aqua Resistance Loops come in two different sizes.   Pink as demonstrated by Claire in the video provides the lighter resistance.   Blue is a more medium resistance. The loops come in packs of four and a class between 20-30 people can be accommodated for less than $110.00.  

Meglio Aqua Resistance Loops

Meglio also sells Aqua Resistance Bands in packs of four that can be used for upper body training. 

Rubberized resistance offers completely different muscle actions than using no equipment, buoyant equipment or weighted equipment.   Concentric (shortening) muscle actions are achieved with movement away from the anchor point and eccentric (lengthening) muscle actions are achieved with movement toward the anchor point.  The concentic or eccentric outcome depends entirely on where the loops or bands are anchored.  In the video, the loops stay anchored around the ankles and thus movement away (hip abduction, extension and flexion) are the primary anatomical movements.  These movements target outer thigh (hip abductors), glutes and hamstrings (hip extensors) and iliopsoas (hip flexors). 


Aqua resistance bands would be ideal for upper body training because they would perfectly compliment foam hand buoys by targeting the muscles missed with the downward forces of buoyancy.   Anchoring the tubing low would force upward movement and target biceps and deltoids which are almost impossible to recruit with foam.  


The aqua loops can be a bit “fiddly” as Claire describes in the video.   The placement of the loops around the ankles will result in occasional slippage of the loop during vigorous exercise.   This is to be expected and users simply need to adjust the loops back in place.  

Webbed gloves offer a simple, more comprehensive solution for upper body conditioning.  Gloves interact with drag resistance and provide the same muscle actions as using NO equipment.   The increased surface area the gloves provide creates more resistance as the arms are moved through the water in all directions.  Webbed gloves are affordable and they are required gear for anyone seriously interested in the sport of aquatic fitness. 

For those wanting to progress the resistance of webbed gloves, consider using the Aqualogix belles

Muscle actions with drag resistance are ideal because similar to using NO equipment, muscle pairs on both sides of a joint are targeted with concentric muscle actions.   This type of training is only possible in the water and promotes optimal muscle balance.  However, eccentric (lengthening) muscle actions are impossible to achieve when using drag equipment or no equipment at all.  Given the importance that some fitness pundits place on eccentric training, the inclusion of other types of equipment in the pool can be beneficial.   Eccentric muscles actions can be achieved with rubberized resistance during the return to the anchor point, with buoyant resistance in the upward phase of a movement and with weighted resistance in the downward gravitational pull of the movement. 


Fitmotivation extends a big thank you to Claire Barker Hemings for providing subscribers with their first glimpse of the Aqua Loops in action.   Stay tuned for two more videos from Claire coming soon, and be sure to check out her other Fitmotivation videos – Aqua Ballet Beats and Liquid Pilates.   Claire is also a representative for Arbonne and is happy to assist with nutritional, wellness and skin care needs. 


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.