Tuesday, July 02 2019

The above preview is for Hi-Lo Aqua Combat, which posted on 11/9/16

Looking for a workout that will amp up the pool action, burn some calories, make some serious waves AND leave the students relaxed and refreshed?  Hi-Lo Aqua Combat featuring USA Aqua Expert, Craig Yaniglos, recently posted and you definitely want to check out this unique class design that goes from ‘rough’ with “fight or flight” intervals, to easy with a relaxing Ai Chi ending.  Interspersed in between is some kickboxing inspired choreography and some balance training skills & drills. 

So what exactly makes this different from any other aqua combat workout?  According to Craig, he was inspired to create this workout after watching clients leave a regular aqua combat class tired and with low energy.  “I reflected and thought how can I take this class to a new level?”  He immediately thought about adding Ai Chi at the end.   “I knew Ai Chi would be a perfect way to restore energy but I needed to create a way to transition from the high-intensity endurance training to the peaceful Ai-Chi and thus created the segment on balance and coordination as a cool down,” says Craig. 

The end result was a kickboxing/combat inspired workout designed to provide a challenge to cardio endurance, balance coordination and more with four segments:  1) Add-On Choreography 2) Intensity Intervals 3) Balance & Coordination 4) Relaxation with AI Chi.


SEGMENT 1:  WARM-UP & ADD-ON CHOREOGRAPHY This segment includes a simple warm-up, which then transitions into add-on choreography.  The first combination begins with a cross-country ski pattern that builds into a very fun lower-body kickboxing sequence.  Next up is a series of punch patterns that target the upper-body and transform the pool into a boxing ring.  This 20-minute segment will provide you with some exciting ideas for creating exciting cardio combat choreography.

SEGMENT 2:  INTERVALS & ENDURANCE TRAINING The music BPM picks up in this segment.  It is time rev up the intensity for the cardio junkies with some combat intervals and endurance training.  The objective here is to get each participant to the point of “fight or flight”.  (Just remember that they should only work to their own abilities).   The last 3-5 minutes of this segment pushes students to the limits where they fight to keep going or they need to stop and take a quick break (flight).

As mentioned above, this segment essentially begins a cooling down phase, transitioning from the “fight or flight” intensity to grounded movements that maintain some intensity while training balance & coordination.  During this segment Craig encourages the students to engage the core while providing focal cues for balance.

According to Craig, the secret sauce in Hi-Lo Aqua Combat is Ai-Chi.  After a long challenging workout, what better way to end a class than with some relaxing and energy restoring Ai-Chi.  Newbies fear not, this simple choreography can be used over and over with the same effect.  Step out of your comfort zone and start exploring meditation in the hectic world we live in.  Your students will thank you.


1. Introduce things slowly as you become comfortable with the new style or moves.
2. For more advanced classes consider using combat gloves or webbed gloves to increase intensity.

3. Begin creating workouts that target different aspects.  This workout targets both aerobic and anaerobic and allows for a proper recovery.

4. Introducing mental training or imagery with Ai-Chi is suggested as your class becomes comfortable with this format.  If you are uncomfortable with creating this on your own you can access the Internet for some ideas.  
5. Do not fear choreography.  The choreography in this workout is simple and effective.  Practice before you teach and you will lead a confident class that your participants will love.

Fitmotivation would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to Craig Yaniglos for sharing this workout with video viewers.  Craig recently became an AEA Training Specialist and he presents at various conferences and events.  Stay tuned for another one of his workouts – Deep Buoy Endurance – posting next month. 





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.