Tuesday, July 02 2019

The most important skillset an aquatic fitness instructor can possess is the ability to constantly change up their classes with a wide variety of base move variations using movement techniques.   Failure to do so will prevent students from obtaining continued results.  Australian Aqua Expert, Dominic Gili, shares an epic tutorial for creating unlimited aqua moves in the recently posted video, So You Think you Can Aqua.

Dom’s video is the perfect launch for the new “Create-a-Class” promotion.  New instructors will take away a treasure trove of concepts and ideas for creating endless moves and combinations in their classes.  (I wish I had access to this video when I was a new instructor!)  Seasoned instructors will take away essential strategies for keeping classes fresh, challenging and progressive.

Exercise Physiological Principle:  Progressive Overload
Definition:  A gradual, systematic increase in the stress or demand placed on a physiological system or organ resulting in adaptation (improvement).

Seasoned instructors occasionally fall into “same ole, same ole” mode with their classes.  Lack of time and/or lack of new ideas can put an instructor and their class on autopilot.  The class gets taught and the students show up, but adaptation (improvement) ceases to occur.  The #1 rule for a group fitness class is that it should be results-oriented.  Aquatic fitness classes are no different.   Unless you are hosting a 45-minute “social hour” in the pool, the participants who show up for your class are expecting a well planned class that delivers results.

In order for a class to be results-oriented, progressive overload is required.  That means the class must constantly evolve and change in various modalities, including mode or types of activities or exercises.  Constantly changing up the exercises is a form of progressive overload that will ensure your students continue to see fitness improvements. 

Simply doing jacks, skis, jogs, kicks, hops and rocking horse isn’t going to cut it.  The secret lies in the ability to create endless variations of these base movements.  Every time you make a change by applying a movement technique for arms, tempo, impact, travel and more, the outcome is changed.  This creates a stimulus for improvement.  In the video, So You Think You Can Aqua, Dominic brilliantly weaves together a tutorial of creating endless moves for endless results.


Total video run-time:  55 minutes

Includes 30-minute tutorial for applying MOVEMENT TECHNIQUES

Upper Body Variations:  bilateral symmetrical, bilateral reciprocal. Unilateral, dynamic, static and combined with lower body

Lower Body Variations:  One-footed, two footed, grounded (unilateral)

Impact Options:  Level I, Level II, Level III, Grounded, Elevated & Propelled

Tempo/ Rhythm changes:  water tempo, half water tempo, land tempo, combined tempos

Body Positions:  upright, seated, side-lying, supine and prone

Travel:  forwards, backwards, lateral, figure-8, circular

Directional Changes:  ¼ turns, ½ turns, full turns and facing different directions

Hand Positions:  slice, fist, press, full

Feet Positions:  relaxed, pointed and flexed

Equipment Use:  gloves, drag, buoys, noodles, rubberized and wall

Includes 20-minute master session applying all of these techniques (including equipment use) to the following base moves for ENDLESS VARIATIONS


Cross Country Ski

Rocking Horse

Jumps (including jacks)



Includes 5-minute FINALE of putting ALL into combinations

After watching this video I am 100% confident that you will have ideas and resources to constantly change up the exercises in your classes.  The ability to do so will ensure that your students continue to see improvement in their health, fitness and well being. 

Fitmotivation would like to thank Dom Gili for once again sharing one of his videos with subscribers.   Look for his other video, Hydro Electric Deep.  Dominic is the founder of and one of Australia's leading aquatic fitness training specialists.  He will be teaching So You Think you Can Aqua at AEA’s International Aquatic Fitness Conference (IAFC)in May 2017. 

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.