Tuesday, July 02 2019

Does it feel like you are always doing the same moves in class?  Feeling burned out?  Ready for a change?  Challenge your skills at creating endless movement variations with a game-like format that features 4 bases moves, changed 10 times each.  The same 40 moves get replayed and remixed in game levels 2 & 3.  Ready…set…game on!
Watch The Change Game and over 95 other videos FREE for 30 days with current AEA offer.  (New subscribers only)  This offer has been extended and expires on 10/31/18.

The ability to create variations of base moves is one of the most important skills an aquatic fitness instructor can possess.  Teaching the same moves over and over can lead to boredom and chatty, disengaged students.  New moves are seldom invented; instead we rely on creating variations of jacks, skis, kicks, jogs and more.  The Change Game is intended to help instructors develop their skills at creating an endless supply of moves for their class routines.

The variation techniques utilized in this routine include changing arms, tempo, travel, direction, impact, ROM, combining moves and more.  Literally you could create dozens of variations of ONE move by applying all of these techniques.

The Change Game not only develops instructor skills, the workout itself feels amazing because the body is moving in all different directions due to the constant changes.  The end result is an aerobic routine that is fun, functional and leaves you feeling energized when you exit the pool.  The locker room chatter at the YMCA where I teach has been overwhelming positive in regards to this routine.  And when the students are happy that is always a Win! Win! Win!  Hip, hip hooray!    


The video does not include a specific warm-up routine.  However, the warm-up I have been using in my class features the song, The Name Game, to get my students in a game-like mood.  The song is a short 3 minutes and I simply instruct base moves at various tempos – particularly ½ and ¼ tempo as the original song has a fast BPM. The rest of the class is taught at 128bpm, a cadence that works well with the constant changes.  The playlist I have been using features 50’s & 60’s music – designed to pair well with The Name Game warm-up song.

Level 1 features four base moves, jacks, skis, kicks and jogs.  Each base move is changed 10 times using variation techniques.  This segment includes a total of 40 moves, each taught for 30 seconds (two 32-count cycles of music) for a total of 20 minutes.   Notes are a must for this routine.  Consider inserting them in plastic sheet protectors and clipping to a chair in front of you or placing on the deck floor nearby.   Larger displays can be made for the students so they can follow along themselves – lending the routine more of a game-like feel.  See a photo below of the notes for all 4 base moves.  Subscribers can download these larger font notes with the regular video notes. PHOTO OF LEVEL 1 NOTES

The next level features the same 40 moves performed in just 10 minutes – half the time as Level 1. Each move is performed for 15 seconds, or one 32-count cycle of music.  Level 2 becomes more advanced by alternating between a ski move, a jack move, a kick move and a jog move.  In other words, we will do row 1 of all four bases moves, then row 2, then row 3 and so on (see notes below).  And that means your body and your limbs will be moving in all directions.  

The action moves MUCH quicker in the next level. The same 40 moves are now performed in just 5 minutes.  That is a half-music cycle (16 counts) per move – or approximately 8 seconds each.  You have my permission to skip level 3.  Seriously, the moves are transitioning so fast that form will fall apart.  Why do I do it?  My poor suffering students are used to my pyramid choreography and quick transitions.  I think they even like it…but I could be wrong.  Some instructors will cry foul because the transitions are too fast for good form.  C’est la vie…to each his own. If you do not want to traumatize your students or yourself with Level 3, there are other options for teaching this routine.

Interested in learning more about creating endless base move variations?  Check out the Fitmotivation Online Education Program, 50 Ways to Change a Move, based on the video, So You Think You Can Aqua.  The online program features an 8 page educational handout and a 20-question quiz worth 2.0 AEA CECS. (Extra cost required).  And be sure to view the 5-part Aqua Free series located in the Choreography Category.  All 5 videos are designed to build your skills at creating base move variations.

Looking forward to hearing feedback regarding your own experiences teaching The Change Game.  Please comment below or under the video with any options or variations you try in your classes.   Game on Aqua Nation!

And don't forget about the current AEA offer.   This offer has been extended to October 31, 2018 and is for new subscribers only.    Thanks to all existing subscribers for your support.  It is deeply appreciated.

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.