Tuesday, July 02 2019

Looking for a straightforward athletic workout for deep water?  Look no further!  Deep-ish Aerobic Training is a 40-minute workout that features 30 simple yet powerful moves performed continuously with travel in the deep end.  Options are provided for modifying this workout for small pools or crowded classes.  The template and many of the moves can also be used in shallow water. 

Putting on my athletic shoes and going for a run is simply out of the question for me these days.  Whether it is my heel, foot, knee or hamstring, there always seems be a messed-up body part that prevents me from participating in land-based cardio.  However, I can totally throw on my water shoes and go for a run in deep water.  Run, ski, jack, kick, jump - forwards, backwards, sideways – horizontal, vertical and seated - deep water provides an opportunity to unleash my inner athlete, gymnast, and Olympian self.     

Deep-ish Aerobic Training is the most recent video spawned from my own personal workouts in the deep-end.  Other video workouts include, Deep CardioTone (2017), Aqua Tabata Deep (2015) and Pool Jogging & Tabata (2014).  And similar to all of those previous videos, an audio download was created to allow people to follow along with the workout in pools without access to Wi-Fi.


Workout Template
An exercise routine should provide results if designed properly.  Are the movements of the upper and lower body performed in all movement planes to ensure maximal muscular recruitment?  Is there a healthy blend of exercises that target both anterior and posterior musculature?  The template for this routine features a block of 10 moves and includes three blocks for a total of 30 exercises.  Each 10-move block includes:

-       Mixture of exercises representing frontal, horizontal and sagittal movement planes

-       Healthy blend of exercises with rear directed movements of the arms and legs ensuring an emphasis on posterior musculature

-       Varying travel patterns each emphasizing different musculature: forwards (anterior), backwards (posterior) and lateral (core).

-       One exercise without the use of arms for enhanced core recruitment

-       One exercise without the use of legs emphasizing upper body and core stabilization

-       Two combination exercises (combining 2 moves) for coordination & agility

-       One speed movement

Pool Space
Performing this workout in my own pool, I typically travel the moves along the length of the pool and turn as needed.   Traveling the exercises increases intensity and adds an extra element of athleticism and excitement to the workout.  However, not all pools or classes are ideal for traveling.  In the warm-up, three options for performing this workout are offered.

Option 1
All 30 moves are performed stationary.  Since each move is performed for 60 seconds, consider changing direction every 15 seconds with a ¼ turn.  This will at least provide some variety.  If you exercise in a small pool or instruct in a crowded class this is the best option for you.  Likewise, stationary movement lowers intensity and would be more appropriate for less fit individuals.
Option 2
All 30 moves are alternated between stationary and travel.  Each exercise is performed for 60 seconds:  15 seconds stationary, 15 seconds traveling, 15 seconds stationary and 15 seconds traveling. The intensity output would be moderate to high. This option is best for pools with limited space and for filming purposes.  The entire video workout is filmed using Option 2. 
Option 3
All 30 moves are performed with continuous travel – turning as needed as per the size of your pool.  The energy output here is intense and more appropriate for advanced fitness levels.  Obviously this option would work best for lap lanes and large pools. 

Breaking down 60 seconds into four 15-second segments is simple if you are using 32-phrased music of around 126-135bpm.  Each 32 phrase is around 15 seconds.  If you are not using music or if you are not comfortable identifying the phrasing, then please consider an app or other timing device. 

A flotation belt is recommended if performing this workout in deep water.  The belt does not lessen intensity; instead it provides neutral buoyancy to allow the limbs to work aerobically with large movements while keeping core muscles engaged in proper vertical alignment.  The absence of a flotation belt simply turns the routine into a poorly aligned ‘verti-zontal’ scull fest.    Webbed gloves are also recommended as they add intensity and upward propulsion.  A person with a solid, musculature frame will benefit from the upward propulsion. 

Most of the moves in this routine are basic and athletic and translate easily into shallow water.  However, there are some deep-water specific exercises that will need to be changed out.  The same variety as described in the template above should also be applied to shallow water training. 

The Ides of March are almost upon us and that means SPRING TRAINING.  This workout is ideal for unleashing your inner athlete in the pool.  Additionally, if instructing this routine in a class, you may notice that your students get a kick out of some healthy competition in the traveling sequences. 

And grateful we move forward – appreciative that we can still be athletes – albeit water warriors!

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.