Finally, most health clubs are now supplying Aqua Classes, the Forgotten Child of Fitness, with semi-expensive equipment! Say bye-bye to milk jugs!
Those little instruction cards that some of them come with are pretty scanty in the information department, but there is so much you can do with these little lovelies!
Safety guidelines for students: Hold on with an okay sign (index and thumb, minimally), not a white knuckled grip using every muscle and digit of your hand, otherwise, your forearms, hands and wrists will become fatigued long before you have finished working out all your other muscles. Do not place bouys under armpits to rest; that will impinge the shoulder joint and may cause an injury or bursitis flare up. When holding the bouys in a still position, either allow them to float on the surface at your sides or in front of you, taking care not to press them down slightly, straining their shoulders. They will become unbalanced if they tense up and press down, which is ironic, since they are doing that because they are doing that because they feel unbalanced! When the hands are in a still position under water, have them hold them in close to the hips, palms facing the hips, as opposed to out at their sides on a 45 degree angle, because again, they will impinge their shoulder. Tell them if they get tired, let their hands and bouys float, even setting them aside, but keep moving the legs as you direct.
Warm up with lateral surface moves, where you will find the least resistance, before you submerge the bouys, digging in to the weighted work. On the suface, start with slow and large, then work into small and fast, to fatigue those fast-twich muscle fibers. When you first begin using bouys, start out with only 10 minutes, or you will discourage them with the pain. Work into up to a half hour, including suspended exersizes that use them for flotation devices instead of strengthening tools. Remember, students adapt then plateau, so don't do the same thing every time; change to noodles, gloves, paddles, or kick boards for your strength moves for a period. If you deck teach, remember, do non-impact at half time so you don't ruin your knees. They like it if you go at the pace they move, not faster, remember? Over the years, I have conducted studies on what students like. They like to do a move for a period of 30 seconds to a minute. If you change too frequently, they don't get into the rythm of the move, and since the resistance is light (compared to heavy weight lifting) high reps are called for. They get bored if you stay on a move too long, and you will lose control of the class.
Lateral surface moves:
Hands out of water:
Out of water without a bouy (HAD to add it,one of my favorites) Little crossovers to the front (hands out like a zombie, elbows stable, move from the shoulder, fast and small, only shoulder width apart. Raise up 6" at a time. Killer little outer pec worker!)
Ooops, time for my nap!
Look for Hand Bouys 101.2 another day.
Please feel free to email me with any questions. I have loved the responses from my last entries! It's nice to chat with others from all over. I am thankful for the creator of this site, because it is an awesome resource, unlike any other! About me: I have been teaching year round since 1985, and am certified to certify aqua instructors. I teach indoor fitness classes as well, and even coach swimming, water polo, and teach martial arts. A lifer. Fitness as a career;who would have thought?