Renee's Senior Tips/Wall Work

This is an Aquatic pattern from www.turnstep.com. (pattern 16080)

Hi all, this offering is the result of an email I recieved from a dedicated turnstep reader. She asked some very valid questions, resulting in this response:

Senior classes can be offered the same moves as other classes, just include tips for modifications regularly. Modifications include:

I usually throw a bunch of those out at the beginning of class, right after my introduction and who's new question. As a matter of fact, FYI, it is a good practice to introduce your self, name the class, talk about what kind of class you will be doing, mention tips like straight back, shoulders down, etc., see who's new, tell them you don't mind if they are late, it's better than not at all, mention your talking policy. This group is here particularly for social reasons, and should have a little chance to chat. I just tell them they can talk all they want, as long as they work and don't stop in the middle of the pool or stand in between me and the ones who are only working out. Plus, I always make announcements at the beginning of class, things like mentioning any holidays, pool closures, and other classes or activities around the club. These tips are all based on mystery shopper evaluations I have had over the years.

Students will get cold if you stand them too long, if the water is below 82 or 83. If you do wall work, maybe keep it to 5-7 minutes as part of a cool down or strengthening section. In my experience, even the very oldest, most injured students can at least walk if not jog low and slow for the entire class, though they may initially think they cannot. This leg movement keeps their heart rate and body temp up, and remember, for every ten pounds you weigh on land, you only weigh one in the water, if at armpit height (I don't ever say nipple in my classes, though it is the industry term).

Wall Work

Facing sideways to the wall, one hand on the wall, one hand at the center of the pool:

With a noodle (or leg cuff), still facing sideways, hold noodle with both hands, shoulder with apart, no wider. Push noodle under water, lift knee, and place one foot on the center of noodle. Press noodle to floor. Then:

To switch legs, stand on noodle, hold wall. Have the other foot step on noodle right next to the other one, have first leg step of. Voila! Other side.

Wall pushups, the type where the student jumps up and lifts their torso out of the water until their arms are straight and belly to the wall, are unsafe. That causes their shoulders to bear a lot of weight in an explosive fashion, and is no longer a recommended move. Facing the wall feet on the floor and levering into and out of the wall is safe, but not too useful in terms of strength or cardio.

Kicking on the wall is a killer cardio move. Here is how the Red Cross WSI program used to present this, 20 years ago: Face the wall, place one hand on the pool curb and one much lower on the wall, maybe a foot and a half, with the fingers pointing down, palm flat. Have the students keep their face out of the water at all times as they push on the lower hand to support themselves, lifting their legs up behind them with a small flutter kick, toes pointed, with the kick being very shallow and originating from the hip, not the knee. The kick should be small and fast with a splash. Do three timed rounds with complete rest in between. Can be 15 sec, 30, 45, with 15 sec rest to start, work your way up to three one minute rounds with 30 seconds rest in between.

If students hold both hands high on the wall at the curb, their lower back will arch dangerously and cause them discomfort and pain, so don't allow that. They should all be able to do it the correct way. Do not allow them to face away from the wall with their shoulders and arms draped across the wall; this can injure their shoulders. If they need to face away from the wall, have them put their back to the wall as they sit in a chair position, holding a flotation device (noodle?) in front of their chest and belly, then extend their legs forward and kick small and fast.

Keep reading those posts to learn new stuff, then your class won't get bored with you. I look at these movements as if the were math problems. They can be rearranged and grouped in many ways. The changes can be made based on duration, speed, number of reps, depth of execution, changing from small to large levers, grouping moves to achieve various effects, grouping for a theme, traveling around in the water, and many other variables.

Also, seniors most love 50's and 60's music, not much else.

Good luck,
Renee Neal

Turnsteppers, please feel free to write and ask questions, I enjoy the challenge! I have been teaching aqua since '85, as well as a wide variety of other fitness classes, including aerobics and martial arts. I am also a certified aqua instructor trainer.



Added by Renee Neal at 2:37 PM on Sunday, September 17, 2006 EDT. Add to favorites (view favorites)
(Email: nealrenee@hotmail.com)
From: Fair Oaks California (USA)
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