Sample Class: H2O Bootcamp

by Donna Read on Apr 01, 2004


Combine athletic training formats in the water.

Every now and then, participants need to be reminded that training in the swimming pool offers numerous benefits for all fitness levels. Based on speed, power and strength rather than rhythm and choreography, H2O Bootcamp incorporates pyramid training, kickboxing drills, interval training, power drills, speed bursts and strength exercises. While this class requires no coordination, it does demand a lot of stamina and is great for students who need a new challenge and prefer hard, athletic workouts.

H2O Bootcamp Details

Format: water workout for approximately 20-25 participants

Total Time: 60 minutes

Equipment Needed: Each participant will need a pair of webbed gloves and a pair of AquaBells and/or a strong noodle.

Music: Use music for motivation only. Since this is an athletic type of workout, participants work at high levels of intensity. Dance music naturally tends to make people want to dance, so play music with a strong beat (e.g., rock or club/techno). Encourage participants to work at their own pace and not to follow the beat of the music.

Warm-Up: Ask participants to put on their webbed gloves right away, as they will be wearing them for most of the workout. Lead the class in general freestyle movements, such as high knee and hamstring jogging, kicks, jumping jacks, cross-country skiing, pendulums and rocking horses. Do these on the spot or while traveling at various tempos in neutral, rebound and/or suspended positions; in this way, you will reach different intensity levels.

Neutral: Keep the chest and/or shoulders at water level, with feet touching the pool floor.

Rebound: Jump or bounce, allowing the navel or lower part of the chest to show.

Suspended: Keep the shoulders and/or chest at water level, but lift the feet off the pool floor.

Use dynamic stretches to keep the body warm. Concentrate on the hamstrings, calf/soleus muscles, quadriceps, gluteals, anterior deltoids and chest.

Work Phase: detailed below

KickBoxing Combo 1 (webbed gloves)

  • rock kicks to side (while traveling)

  • double karate jacks (on the spot)

  • skipping with high knees (on the spot)

  • sprinting with punches (on the spot)

Repeat on each side at your discretion.

Cardio Pyramid Training (webbed gloves)

  • abductor rebound jumps, 45 seconds 10-second recovery jog

  • hamstring-curl rebound jumps, 60 seconds 10-second recovery jog

  • cross-country rebounds with knee tucks, 75 seconds 10-second recovery jog

  • jumping-jack rebounds with knee tucks, 90 seconds 10-second recovery jog Go back down the pyramid: 75-, 60-, 45-second segments.

Strength Training/Cardio Interval (webbed gloves)

Note: The following exercises will give participants a chance to recuperate. Do each move dynamically, following it with a cardio/power move to ensure heart rates don’t drop too low and bodies don’t cool off too much.

  • standing side leg lift (adductors) with arms at sides and elbows bent (16x each side); tuck jumps

  • side lunge knee-in, lifting opposite arm to emphasize obliques (16x each side); “Charlie Chaplin” jumps

  • “skateboarding” in neutral, with biceps and triceps extensions (16x each side); rebound skateboarding

  • lunge back and kick front, with chest and upper-back flyes (16x each side); rebound repeater knee-up

Kickboxing Combo 2 (webbed gloves)

Note: Bring heart rates and body temperatures back up by doing moderate-intensity cardiovascular work before moving on to more challenging speed, agility and power drills.

  • punches: center, right side, left side, center (emphasizing core/center work) on the spot (neutral), legs straddled

  • alternating front kicks on the spot (rebound)

  • rock kick front and back on the spot (rebound)

Speed/Agility/Power Drill (webbed gloves)

  • shuffle and jog (give directional turns and traveling options)

  • cross-country skiing (rebound to suspended)

  • football sprint, arms to side

  • mogul jumps (rebound to suspended)

  • crisscross, jog front, crisscross, jog back (give directional turns and traveling options)

  • alternating rebound jumping jacks or suspended jumping jacks

Abdominals/Upper-Body Strength Training (noodles and/or AquaBells)

Option 1:

  • standing abs (hold noodle in front, flex forward)
  • arm flexion and extension (posterior delts and lats)
  • triceps extension

Option 2:

  • abs, seated or supine (ribs to hips)
  • scapular depression (lower scapulae)
  • triceps dips

Option 3:

  • standing lateral flexion (obliques)
  • chest and upper-back flyes
  • arm adduction and abduction (lats)

Option 4:

  • baseball swings (obliques)
  • push-ups from a prone 45 degree angle (also do flyes from this position)

Cool-Down and Stretch. Lead a “freestyle” cool-down incorporating stretches and flowing movements from t’ai chi and static postures from yoga.

IDEA Fitness Edge , Volume 2005, Issue 2

© 2004 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Donna Read IDEA Author/Presenter


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