Water Exercises with Angled Approach

Tuesday, August 13 2019

Discover a new slant on water exercise by reinventing base moves with lots of angles, diagonals, spirals and circles.  Rock around the clock with aqua expert Terri Mitchell as she executes arm and leg patterns around the clock face to create a fun, functional and creative pool workout. This video includes an audio pool workout. 

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Known for her Aqualogical series of aquatic fitness programming, Terri is also recognized for transforming aqua moves with a more functional approach to movement design.

Traditionally, aquatic fitness base moves, such as jumping jacks and cross-country skis, are taught in one of three movement planes.  The frontal plane represents side to side movement (jumping jacks, pendulums, side leg raises, etc.). The sagittal plane features movements that move front to back (cross country skis, jogs, kicks, rocking horse, etc.).   The transverse plane includes horizontal movement (twists, knee swings, breast strokes, etc.)  Including a healthy blend of exercises in all three movement planes ensures a workout that has muscle balance.

The problem is that life simply does not occur strictly front to back, side to side and horizontal.  As Terri likes to say… “we don’t move around on land like wooden soldiers in straight planes, so why exercise in straight planes?”  Adding functionality by incorporating multi-planar movements can help people with activities of daily living (ADLs). In life we reach to the diagonal, we rotate, we pivot, we turn, we stir, we vacuum, sit, bend, lunge and more.  Movements of the arms, legs and spine benefit from multidirectional, full range of motion (ROM) at the joint.   Think circular, diagonal and spiral.  Taking an angled approach to exercise not only improves function, it creates a challenge.  According to Terri, changing directions, changing planes, changing the music all help to prevent a class from being boring.  “Once I started moving in angles and crossing midline and rotating, my participants loved it,” says Terri.  “Their balance improved, their coordination improved, and my burnout decreased because I had a fun new way to get creative with moves,” she adds.

Trendier aqua formats, such as HIIT, Boot Camp, drumming, poles, bikes, trampolines and float boards are all the rage right now.   Obviously, it is encouraging to see the industry evolving and targeting new audiences.  However, many long-time instructors in the USA would be hard pressed to report a change in the demographics of their classes.  The pool is still clearly the preferred exercise domain of those aged 55+. Rather than trying to woo the young, the male and the athletically gifted, instructors need to work harder at serving their most loyal customers – those older adults who are actually showing up in their classes.  The type of programming included in Aqualogical Angles will never generate as many “likes” on social media as trendier formats, but it will help participants move better and live better.

The practical notes included with the Aqualogical Angles video provides fitness leaders with a road map for transforming regular exercises into more corrective movement patterns.  Instructors have the power and the choice to make a difference. They can continue on with jacks, skis, jogs and kicks as per usual; or they can learn how to take an angled approach to jacks, skis, jogs and kicks to ensure more meaningful outcomes for their students.  This isn’t about changing what you are doing; it is about making it better. 

Like all group fitness activity, programming for the 55+ crowd needs to be effective and results oriented.  Movement should be purposeful, helping to improve an individual’s ability to perform activities of daily living. Take time to absorb this video and watch how Terri transforms base moves with internal and external rotation, diagonal limb patterns, spirals, crossing midline, circumduction moving to the corner, behind and more. The diagonal cues in this workout are simplified by using imaginary "clock face" cues. 

Fitmotivation would like to extend a big thank you to Terri Mitchell for sharing her passion and vast experience with subscribers.   Check out her recent videos, Aqualogical Abs and Aqualogical  Legs.  Premium subscribers - don't forget to download the audio workout while it is FREE and featured.  A new FREE and featured audio download post every 2-4 weeks.  Keep your eye on the green box at the top of the video page (when logged in) to know which audio is FREE and featured.   



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.