Who says you can't build muscle in the pool? Aquatic fitness is the real deal and you really can build strength in the pool without all of the fancy equipment you would find in a gym. This aquatic fitness workout focuses on the water’s drag resistance. Aqualogix Drag Resistance belles are used in the two upper body segments, however added equipment is not necessary. The water’s resistance is the best equipment there is.
SUBMERGED TOTAL BODY RESISTANCE
When submerged in the pool, your class members are surrounded by 360 degrees of resistance. Water is approximately 800 times denser than air. Therefore, all movements are resisted, thus targeting muscles pairs on both sides of the joint. For example, if you perform elbow flexion and extension in the pool, both the biceps and triceps are targeted. On land, only the bicep would be targeted by the downward force of gravity when performing the same muscle action. Unlike using machines or weighted equipment in the gym, there is no weight metric to assign when moving against the water’s resistance in the pool. However, there are ways to manipulate resistance. Increasing the velocity or force of the movement will increase resistance. Encourage your class participants to push and pull harder. "Make white water!"
Adding drag equipment, such as Aqualogix or webbed gloves, will increase surface area and thus generate more resistance. However, foam dumbbells, weighted equipment or rubberized resistance cannot be substituted here. These types of equipment completely change the outcome of the muscle actions. H20 Body Blast is designed for drag resistance and should only be performed with either no equipment or with drag equipment.
Watch Chris talk more submerged resistance and the aquatic environment in the video below.
3-2-1 AQUATIC FITNESS CLASS FORMAT
The 3-2-1 format has been popular in the fitness industry for many years. In the video, Chris targets each muscle group with 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of endurance and 1 minute of stretching. 3-2-1 can be mixed up to suit whatever goal someone is trying to achieve. In 2018 and 2109, I filmed Deep 3-2-1 and Water Exercise 3-2-1 by implementing 3 minutes of cardio, 2 minutes of strength and 1 minute of flexibility.
H2O Body Blast includes a warm-up, cool down and six segments that target a specific muscle group.
Upper Body: Segments 1-3
Segment 1 targets chest, segment 2 focuses on the back and segment 3 incorporates the wall to train core muscles. For targeting chest & back, Chris increases resistance by using the Aqualogix belles. The belles do not have to be used, but hand positions are vital for targeting upper body muscle groups. Watch Mark explain hand positions, as well as important information regarding the Aqualogix belles.
Lower Body: Segments 4-6
Segment 4 targets the quadriceps, segment 5 hits the hamstrings and segment 6 recruits the glutes. Chris is not wearing the Aqualogix ankle blades, but this drag equipment would be ideal for increasing resistance in these three lower body segments. If not using the added equipment, it is important to understand levers and the principles of applied force when targeting lower body muscle groups. Watch Mark explain this and also talk about the proper use of the Aqualogix ankle blades.
Fitmotivation extends a big thanks you to Chris for sharing some of his favorite muscle conditioning exercises in the pool. Stay tuned, two more videos with Chris and his wife, Jenni Lynn, will be posting this fall.
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.