Single-Buoy Aqua Fitness Class

Thursday, May 19 2022

Known to many for her YouTube videos, UK Aquatic Training Specialist, Haylley Pittam’s first collaborative video with Fitmotivation is now streaming on the platform. Dunkin Dumbbells is a vigorous aquatic fitness class format that targets cardio, muscle conditioning and core training by using a single foam dumbbell.

Blog Summary

  • About Haylley
  • Dunkin Dumbbells Class Format
  • Hand Buoy Safety Issues
  • Music Recommendations
  • Behind-the-Scenes video with Haylley

The International Aquatic Fitness Conference (IAFC) was recently held in Daytona Beach and Haylley traveled across the pond to be one of the featured presenters.  Thankfully she was able to extend her Florida trip to travel to Sarasota and film videos for Fitmotivation.  Haylley is a highly qualified personal trainer, aquatic fitness instructor and swimming coach.  Offering workshops in both the UK and internationally, her main areas of focus include pre and postnatal, pelvic care, stroke therapy and diabetes. Haylley is the co-founder of Aquatic Rehabilitation Exercise Academy (AREA), which provides high quality, evidence based aquatic education to fitness professionals. 

Featuring the use of a single hand buoy, Dunkin Dumbbells is designed to target cardiorespiratory & muscular endurance and core stability. The class format includes a warm-up, cooldown and five 7-minute dumbbell segments.  The total time is 40 minutes, but the class can easily be extended by adding another dumbbell segment.  This easy-to-teach structure features a different aquatic fitness base move for each segment.  The base move is then integrated with buoy movements that are taught with simple right and left sequencing.  The use of just one buoy makes it possible to move in all directions with increased range of motion, allowing class participants to more effectively target their major muscle groups while moving at a faster cardio pace.   Watch Haylley talk more about the Dunkin Dumbbells pool workout. 

The use of a single buoy adds extra safety and comfort to the workout by providing essential hand breaks.  One hand is always at rest as the other hand holds the buoy.  Excessive gripping can cause discomfort and even pain for people with arthritic hands or wrists.  Choosing an appropriately sized foam dumbbell is essential for a safe and effective fitness experience.  Lightweight on land, hand buoys generate a significant amount of resistance once submerged under the surface of the water and into the upward forces of buoyancy.  The larger the foam dumbbell, the greater the forces.  Encourage the use of medium or smaller sized buoys in any workout where you are moving at a faster aerobic pace.  Discourage class participants from using foam dumbbells if the class is not specifically designed for their shape, size and buoyancy interaction. Over the years, I have “deprogrammed” many of my class members from using foam dumbbells in classes that I did not design for hand buoy use.  Why?  Simply because they can injure themselves.  Frustrated, I even wrote the article, Equipment Addiction, which detailed my battles with students over foam dumbbells.  WATCH an extended tutorial on the use of foam dumbbells, including safety tips on buoy size, gripping and modifications. 

The music used in the video was Club Dance 4 from Power Music’s Virtual Music category and it is available to download for $14.95.  The bpm is 130.  If you are interested in other 130 bpm pre-mixes, checkout this 130bpm selection from Yes Fitness Music, or this 130bpm selection from Power Music. Feel free to adjust the bpm to suit the abilities of your class participants.

Fitmotivation extends a big thank you to Haylley for taking the time to travel to Sarasota and film four videos. More videos with Haylley will be posting this summer.  Two of those videos will include extended education handouts and AEA approved CEC quizzes once the newly redesigned Fitmotivation Online Education platform is completed.  You can also watch several videos with Haylley by visiting and subscribing to her YouTube channel.  In the meantime, watch a fun behind-the-scenes video of Haylley’s Florida filming adventure. 


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.