Truth be told, water exercise classes are indeed 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. Even if the demographics of water exercise classes have not changed much over the last 25 years, the aquatic fitness industry has very much evolved and a new generation of instructors is offering more intense programming options based on class feedback and demand. Class participants don’t want instructors who teach down to them because they are older. They 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 Fitmotivation subscribers because he is offering instructors more intense options with his two video series – Dude Moves and Xtreme Aqua. 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. Watch Chris explain his thoughts on keeping classes challenging.
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 Fitmotivation 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’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.
XTREME AQUA 2: 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! Exercises to prepare the hip and shoulder joints for the Xtreme moves are also included.
Segment 2: Wall Work
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. Chris introduces some fresh ideas for wall taps kicks and push-offs.
Segment 3: Water’s Resistance
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.
Segment 4: Noodles
It’s time to fire up the legs and the core with a pool noodle as it provides neutral buoyancy in both reclined and modified supine position. Chris prefers the larger white HYDRO-FIT noodles because they more effectively support a dense, muscular body.
Segment 5: Hand Buoys
The hand buoys are used with a variety of arm patterns to target the muscles of the upper body. The buoys are also used as a means of creating neutral buoyancy to target the core, similar to the noodles. The Helicopter move is Xtreme Extraordinaire.
Segment 6: Cool Down
Chris uses rhythmic movement to reduce the heart rate, stretch muscles and restore the body to pre-exercise conditions.
Fitmotivation extends a big THANK YOU to Chris LaCour for returning to Florida and filming more videos. Check out some of Chris's other videos and stay tuned for Jenni Lynn's video - Deep 54321 - posting later this 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.