Water exercise classes are still mostly attended by older adults, but don’t tell these aqua enthusiasts that their “sport” is any less of a workout than other forms of exercise. The aquatic fitness industry has very much evolved and a new generation of participants are demanding more advanced and challenging programming. The “older adult” demographic is now largely comprised of Baby Boomers, which were the most athletic generation by far. These active agers want instructors who teach “up” and provide options to intensify the workout.
Known for doing just that, Chris LaCour teaches classes in New York City and has become a favorite of subscribers because he offers participants and instructors more intense programming options. In general, Chris does teach to a younger audience in Manhattan but still has plenty of older students. “If a move is too challenging for a student, I have them do their favorite, most challenging exercise that they enjoy while other participants complete the current move,” says Chris.
Injured in a snowboarding accident 11 years ago, Chris spent months rehabbing his back and suffered a complete loss of strength on his right side. His wife, Jenni Lynn Patterson LaCour, another subscriber favorite, encouraged him to get in the water as a means of regaining his strength. “I started taking Jenni Lynn’s classes and was often the only man in the class,” says Chris. Before long he says he fell in love with water exercise and started playing with the moves during Jenni Lynn’s classes to make them more intense. “Jenni Lynn loved some of these intense variations I created and started adding them in her classes and the members loved them and she started getting younger and more fit people in her classes.” Watch Chris explain how he become involved with water exercise in this Facebook Live video celebrating Fitmotivation's 5 year anniversary.
XTREME AQUA 3: WORKOUT-AT-A-GLANCE
Segment 1: Warm-up
Chris starts the workout with some high energy sprints to get the body warmed up. Manhattan lap pools tend to be chilly and so he usually offers a more vigorous and extended warm-up.
Segment 2: HIIT
The cardio action kicks into high gear with some high intensity interval training (HIIT). Three exercises are performed in two circuits.
Segment 3: Wicked Wall
Known for their creative use of the pool wall, both Jenni Lynn and Chris keep finding new ways to athletically challenge their students with wall work.
Segment 4: Strength
Who needs equipment when you have water? Chris effectively demonstrates that the water’s resistance IS equipment with some powerful exercise that challenge the heart, the core and the lower body with big moves that are mostly low-impact. Webbed gloves can be added for extra challenge.
Segment 5: Cool Down
Chris uses rhythmic movement to reduce the heart rate, stretch muscles and restore the body to pre-exercise conditions.
The music used for this video is from Power Music and available in their Virtual Class Music category. Strength Express 3 (128 bpm) and Strength Express 4 (128 bpm) are both available to download for $14.95 each.
Fitmotivation and Poolfit extend a hearty welcome back to Chris. If you like his more athletic style of water exercise, be sure to check out Extreme Aqua and Extreme Aqua 2, both of which also include the use of noodles and hand buoys. Chris will be back with two more videos this fall, including Athletic Sport Conditioning and Dude Moves – Wall & HIIT.
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.