Tuesday, July 02 2019

Discover how to transform simple base moves into choreography for the core, both without equipment and with noodles.  Aqua legend, Pauline Ivens is retiring but her education lives on as we close out 2018 with two of her last DVDs.  Both will include online AEA CEC quizzes (January 2019).

Over the span of her career, Pauline created countless workshops and produced several DVDs.  Fitmotivation is posting two of her last DVD to celebrate her contribution to the industry. Last week, Deep 124 posted.  This deep-water routine that uses music tempo to set the challenge and a Latin beat to energize the moves. Choreography for the Core, Pauline’s epic tutorial on vertical core training just posted with not one – but TWO videos.  Part 1 includes 60 shallow water exercises and combinations; part 2 features some of Pauline’s favorite non-supine core exercises using a noodle.   And be sure to check out a special salute to Pauline’s career – For the Love of Movement.

New Fitmotivation Online CEC quizzes are coming in January 2019.  Both Deep 124 and Choreography for the Core will include CEC quizzes designed by Pauline with her unique brand of instructor education.  Like other Fitmotivation Online CEC Quizzes, these will be worth 2.0 AEA CECs. However, unlike typical Fitmotivation online CEC programs, Pauline’s quizzes cannot be answered from a simple handout.   Watching the videos and absorbing the purpose of the movement is paramount to successfully completing the quizzes, thus leaving a fitting legacy for a master trainer who exemplified and coached educational excellence


Part 1 – This 45-minute video features 60 shallow water exercises and combinations.  Pay attention to how Pauline introduces a base move and then enhances it into a combination of core-enhanced movement using various training principles.

Part 2 – This 30-minute video includes noodle exercises that target the core from various positions, including hand-held, standing,  kneeling, seated and behind-the-back.

Choreography Key Points 1-4
1.The body in water stabilizes 100% of the time. 
2. In functional movement, the stabilizers must activate before the prime movers.
3. It is all about neutral posture.
4. The spine benefits from movement.


Choreography Key Point #5
Keep it simple!  Pauline does not invent any new moves to train the core.  Instead she uses established base moves, such as water walking, running, skis, jacks, pendulums, kicks and more in conjunction with movement principles that activate more from the core.  These principles include travel in all directions, bracing, holding, move-pause, arm placement, limb patterning and more.   By staying simple with base moves, instructors can more effectively teach the movements and students can more efficiently perform the movements.
Below are some of Pauline’s core recommendations.
Never stop talking about neutral posture.

  1. Stay vertical as much as possible.
  2. Keep in motion. Move the spine in every direction if the participants are able. Do not stay in any one position for too long.
  3. Look for simple vertical core exercises. The simplest way to activate the anterior core is to water walk forwards, and/or run forwards.
  4. The simplest way to activate the posterior core is to water walk and/or run backwards.
  5. Emphasize back extension (standing tall)
  6. Limit the amount of repeated hip flexion, especially with the legs as long levers
  7. Stretch the hip flexors and the hamstrings.
  8. Stretch the abductors, adductors, and rotators.
  9. Do not use hip flexion for abdominal training. Know how to engage the abdominals withouthip flexion.
  10. Heighten self-awareness by placing hands on hip bones, rib cage, and pelvis.
  11. Prioritize systemic exercises more than isolated muscle actions.
  12. Strengthen the core by blending static, held contractions with moving contractions.
  13. Use “bracing” exercises to help strengthen the deep spinal muscles.
  14. Maintain strength and mobility in the upper and lower body, because they are connected to the core.
  15. When you only have an hour with your class, prioritize the areas that are classic problems – overstretched middle back, tight hip flexors, head too far forward, anterior pelvic tilt, tight hamstrings, round shoulders, tight pecs, and breathing!
  16. Find more ways to teach neutral posture successfully.

According to Pauline, new information coming from the physical therapy world is recommending that we avoid spinal flexion exercises like crunches because they place the intervertebral discs at risk. She has been a strong advocate of vertical core conditioning. 
**Below are some of her strategies for targeting the core vertically. **

  • Move the SPINE as a complete unit – systemic motion
  • Make resistance hit the body (with spine in neutral)
  • Use water turbulence (body is bracing)
  • Protect the neck (keep in neutral) and protect the lumbar spine (keep in extension)
  • Use balance exercises for enhanced stabilization (reducing the base of support)
  • Use resistance for enhanced stabilization (strong water)
  • Use shallow and deep water (and/or suspend some exercises if you only have shallow)
  • Use submerged foam to increase stabilization strength
  • Use lower extremities as they are connected to the core
  • Perform exercises without using arms
  • Close the eyes for enhanced awareness (body control in space)
  • Use deep water to approach moves from the lower body (e.g. Lumbar lateral flexion)
  • Use asymmetry for additional challenge
  • Off axis moves are harder (maintain postural integrity)
  • Prioritize hip extension (but be careful with long levers)
  • Use the vertical tucked position (more than 90 degrees of hip flexion) to help engage the abdominals, rather than using the psoas major with a lordotic curve (try not to flex the spine)
  • Limit advanced moves to those participants who have good postural strength

Fitmotivation extends a huge thank you to Pauline for passing on the torch of educational excellence to Fitmotivation subscribers. Her official retirement is Dec 31, 2018 and so there is still time to buy the hard copy DVDs and hard copy online quizzes from her website - Aqua Aerobics Unlimited.  After January 1, two new Fitmotivation online AEA CEC quizzes will be available for both of Pauline’s videos – Deep 124 and Choreography for the Core.   There are now 16 Fitmotivation Online AEA CEC Quizzes and they are an excellent way to learn and earn if you cannot travel to an event.

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.