Tuesday, July 02 2019

The above preview video is for Boot Camp Flow, which posted on 9/18/16

Looking for a different kind of boot camp experience for the pool?  Known for designing creative aqua boot camp formats, USA Aqua Expert, Danita Watkins, shares some of her favorite boot camp combinations with Fitmotivation video subscribers. More than just drills, Boot Camp Flow features six high-energy boot camp sequences that flow with transitions and choreography. 


1  The Wall

Creating exercises that include the pool wall, as well as travel to and from the wall, can provide an excellent source of high intensity movements.  In this workout, travel combinations to and from the wall are interspersed with stationary exercises utilizing the wall.  Burpees, wall push-ups, kicks and more add some boot camp testosterone while the travel to and from the wall provides opportunities for transitions and more traditional aquatic fitness movement.

2  Pyramid Intervals

Pyramid Intervals or ladder drills are called many things, including “hard, harder, hardest” and “suicides.”  Ladder drills were also featured in the recently posted, Circuit Overload, featuring Miff Hendriksen.  In this Boot Camp Flow workout, pyramid intervals are taught in three phases:  1) 40 seconds work and 20 seconds recovery 2) 30 seconds work and 15 seconds recovery 3) 20 seconds work and 10 seconds recovery.   You can do a variation of ONE exercise with different intensity levels – with the highest intensity level being the third phase.   Or you can select three different exercises with the most challenging exercise being offered in the third phase.

3  Around the World

This segment in the workout features 6 movements taught in various movement planes – sagittal, frontal and transverse.  This accomplishes a couple of things.   First, if movement is taught in all three movement planes, all of the major muscle groups are recruited and thus a total body workout is accomplished.   Secondly, if the movements are taught with repetition reduction, intensity builds as repetitions are reduced thanks to limb inertia.  The heart simply has to work harder when arms and legs change more frequently between different movement planes.  The twist in this segment is that all six moves are executed first to last and then performed again from last to first.

4  Add-On

Traditionally, boot camp formats are taught linear, without any predictable patterning.  But who says you have to be traditional?  Step outside the box and try sequencing high-energy boot camp drills with add-on choreography.  This segment features three add-on sequences with some kickboxing flavor.  Including predictable patterning in your high-energy formats provides a sense of comfort to older adults as they begin to anticipate movements.   This allows them to exercise more confidently and more efficiently. 

5  Travel

Travel is an essential ingredient in aquatic fitness.  As Sir Isaac Newton noted, an object at rest REMAINS at rest unless acted on by a net external force.  That net external force is YOU and YOUR class planning and cueing.  Increase intensity in your classes by adding total body inertia, also known as traveling.  In this workout, the travel sequence is given a sports theme by recreating basketball moves in the pool.

6  Noodles

Noodles are everyone’s favorite.  They can be used for resistance, support or buoyancy.  In this workout the noodles are used for upper body resistance and they used to recruit core and lower body movement by serving as a supportive aide.  Once again, add-on choreography is used in this segment to provide a more polished delivery of the drills. 

 If you are bored of doing just drills, consider the six formatting ideas above.   These different formatting options will help you breathe some new life into your aquatic boot camp classes.

Fitmotivation extends a huge thank you to Danita Watkins for sharing some of her favorite boot camp combinations.  If you are interested in hosting AEA, ACE & AFAA CEC approved workshops with Danita, please contact her through her website –  Stay tuned for Aquatic Muscle Mix with Danita next month.  This video showcases aquatic body conditioning with four different types of equipment.

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.