The 2-Buoy Workout is primarily a cardio workout with an emphasis on upper body conditioning. The exercises are performed with both interval and continuous training. During the interval portions, work cycles are performed for 45 seconds with 15 seconds of recovery. The segments are divided between Strength & Power and Speed & Endurance. Provide a water fitness class that improves heart health and muscular conditioning with the option of doing it in deep or shallow water and with or without equipment.
Similar to the Foam Dumbbell Workout that posted in October 2020, the same exercises are performed with and without the buoy to prove that you do not need to use foam dumbbells if you do not have them, or if you are concerned about using them. If you have any pain or issues in your upper body extremities, don’t use the buoys. If you do not have buoys, but you have webbed gloves or Aqualogix equipment, feel free to use them. Even if you have buoys, consider trying this workout without equipment and with different equipment options to mix it up for different fitness results.
Despite the fact that it is easier to create buoy exercises for shallow water, I made sure to design this workout so that it could be done in either depth. Creating dual depth workouts simply makes them more accessible to everyone. Water exercise participants typically have strong preferences for one depth over the other and therefore it is nice to provide a choice. Even if you like exercising in both depths, switch it up because fitness results can vary between deep and shallow workouts. WATCH a short video regarding options for the 1 and 2 Buoy Workout Series.
Choosing the correct buoy size is essential for a safe and effective fitness experience. Yes, I preach this same song every time I use the buoys in a video. Lightweight on land, the foam dumbbells generate a great deal of resistance once they are pushed below the surface of the water, encountering the upward forces of buoyancy. The larger the buoy, the greater the forces. Small to medium sized buoys would be best for any workout such as the 2-Buoy Water Workout where you are doing moves at a faster cardio clip. The PoolFit Marketplace does include some smaller options, including the Thera-Band Light Hand Bars. In the video, I used the Thera-Band Medium Hand Bars.
Avoid gripping on to buoys for an entire workout or class. Hand breaks are essential. Ideally, the buoys should be alternated with exercises where hand-held equipment is not used so that the hands get a break. This would be standard practice in a fitness studio and the same common sense should be applied in the pool. The 2-Buoy Water Workout includes segments of buoy use alternated with segments without equipment. During the interval segments in this workout, be sure to encourage hand breaks during the 15 second recovery segments. Excessive gripping can cause discomfort and even pain for people with arthritic hands or wrists. Prolonged gripping can also elevate blood pressure. Shaking the hands tends to quickly restore the blood flow to the digits after prolonged gripping.
Foam Dumbbell Safety
Foam dumbbells cannot just be inserted into any pool workout at whim. A water workout must be specifically designed for their shape, size and for interacting with the upward forces of buoyancy. As an instructor, it would irritate me when I would sub a class and the participants would try to use foam dumbbells in my choreographed, fast-paced aerobic classes. Frustrated, I even wrote the article, Equipment Addiction, about my battles with students over foam dumbbells. WATCH an extended tutorial on the use of foam dumbbells, including safety tips on buoy size, gripping and modifications.
Music Used in Video
A faster cadence, 132 bpm, was used for the segments without equipment. That music, Sweat 132, is from Muscle Mixes Music and available to download for $20.00 from their Virtual Collection. A slower cadence, 126 bpm, was used for the buoy segments. That music, Seniors 1, is from Power Music and available to download for $14.95 from their Virtual Class Music.
Water workouts with foam dumbbells is one of the most requested suggestions for video content. Therefore, in June 2021 we posted a hand buoy series. The 1-Buoy Water Workout posted on June 10 and included creative exercises to train cardio and core using just one foam dumbbell. Keep the content suggestions coming!
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.