Tuesday, July 02 2019

Unleash thrills, drills and skills in your classes with the Aquatic Ladder Challenge.  Netherlands Aqua Expert, Katrien Lemahieu, shares an innovative aqua fitness class format based on ascending and descending drills.   This polished presentation of exercises will make you look like a teaching pro. 

New moves are rather fleeting in nature, but learning new ways of putting moves together is priceless and enduring.  In the Aquatic Ladder Challenge, Katrien shares a class template that is results-oriented, meticulously organized and simple to teach.  Essentially this is a total body toning and cardio format with a creative twist on the ladder style of ascending and descending drills. Based on an interval style of 30 seconds of work (64-counts of music) and 15 seconds of rest (32-counts of music), this format is ideal for instructors and class participants who appreciate a structured workout but eschew choreography.  Yes, the exercises are added on going up the ladder and reduced going down the ladder but they are performed drill-style with a 15-second rest between each one.   In other words, the moves are not linked together which will elicit a loud round of applause from the choreography challenged.   


Segment 1:  Warm-up
Okay…so I lied and this segment IS choreographed, but I swear on the Holy Bible that it is the only part of the workout that is.   In this segment, Katrien teaches a series of simple moves designed to warm up the muscles and joints with add-on choreography.  Add-on or the building block method of instruction, links moves together in a predictable pattern that is taught with repetition.   

Segment 2:  Ladder Up
In this segment, the six exercises/drills are taught in ascending fashion as follows:  1; 1 & 2; 1, 2 & 3; 1, 2, 3, & 4; 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6.  The six exercises each represent a different category/component of fitness to ensure a total body toning & cardio experience.  These six categories include:  1) cardio, 2) upper body, 3) plyometric, 4) speed, 5) lower body, 6) core.   Obviously those categories are suitable for more advanced populations.  The exercise categories can be adjusted to target different populations or formats, such as seniors, mind & body, deep water, equipment and more.  

Segment 3:  Ladder Down
The action gets reversed in this segment as six new exercises/drills (same categories) are descended in the following order:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6; 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5; 1, 2, 3, & 4; 1, 2 & 3; 1 & 2; 1.  The challenge here is that you have to start out with six exercises as opposed to one.  Due to the repetitive nature of teaching the same exercises over and over (particularly exercises 1-3), you will notice that after teaching the same exercise a couple of times in both the Ladder Up and Ladder Down segments, Katrien starts to add variations to an exercise/drill by adding travel, varying stance, changing arms and more.  These variations are important for keeping the class progressive and engaging. 

The reward for completing the Aquatic Ladder Challenge is a relaxing cool down and stretch.   Known for her creative approach to Ai Chi, Katrien ends the workout with a rhythmic blend of Ai Chi and dynamic flexibility, designed to send the students away feeling refreshed and accomplished. 

Create-a-Class Template
Stressed at trying to find time to create new class routines?  The workout template provided in the Aquatic Ladder Challenge will allow instructors to pull a polished class together with just 10-15 minutes of prep.  A template worksheet is included with the notes.  Several other Fitmotivation videos also include ‘Create-a-Class’ templates.

About Katrien
Katrien Lemahieu is the founder of Kataqua, a fitness organization that provides education to instructors across the Netherlands.  She is an international presenter, sharing her talents and knowledge with instructors worldwide.   This is her third video posting on  Be sure to check out her other videos.

Fitmotivation would like to extend a HUGE – extra HUGE – thank you to Katrien and her Kataqua team for producing this video in the Netherlands.   Truth be told, we were short a video in the September line-up and Katrien stepped in and saved the day by producing this video remotely.   Kudos & applause!   Look for more videos from Katrien and her Kataqua team in the future.  

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.