When using buoys or noodles in an aqua class, are the standards the same for training as on land? For example, 3 sets of 10-12 reps, to fatigue. Is it “normal” to do 40+ “abdominal shoot throughs or crunches” with a noodle? My concern is lack of good form and/or injury. Also are any good articles or information regarding this that I can read and share?
I have trained aquatics since 1980. Although there are difference between land and water-based exercise, rep scheme is fairly similar. The difference is that in practice, it’s difficult to attain the same level of resistance in water. As on land, however, high reps have there place as well as low reps. Some basic ways to increase resistance while in water: Use bulkier apparati, use heavier apparati, hold apparati more deeply under water, take shorter rest periods between sets, do exercise while treading, etc. Ultimately, water and land are two different methods and comparing reps scheme is less important than engaging in a solid, worthwhile session. It is always worthwhile to combine the two land and water in one session. Be creative and artful in your quest to train aquatically, make it an art and have fun. Gauge the client exertion over the actually rep scheme. -Marc D. Thompson, www.VirtualHomeFitness.com
Great question, Maggie!
Overload principles are the same whether on land or on water- it’s how you achieve the overload that may be different. Keep in mind that the water has several variables you won’t find on land, such as buoyancy instead of gravity, drag and surface area to increase resistance (in addition to the weight variable of resistance you’d have on land). I wouldn’t say that there is a “standard number of repetitions” for resistance training in water. As Marc says, gauging client exertion will be key in determining what’s appropriate for your client or group.
As far as risk of injury/ poor technique, the water is generally very forgiving. Since exercise in water has far less impact than land the main concern is usually hyperextension of joints rather than acute injury (because the water continues to exert force on a joint even after the motion of that joint has stopped). This is why I make all my class participants aware they should not “lock” knees or elbows. I find that the resistance of noodles & buoys doesn’t really compare with the resistance you’d get on land, say in a weight room setting. For that reason, I don’t usually use the “3 sets of 10-12 reps”, but I certainly bring my participants to the point of fatigue. It’s not uncommon for instructors in an aqua setting to do many repetitions with noodles or buoys, just as you might see instructors in a step class doing 40+ “repeater knees”.
Regarding available resources, check out the Aquatic Exercise Association’s standards for exercise: http://aeawave.com/PublicPages/Education/StandardsGuidelines.aspx
The most applicable sections are probably “Intensity”, “Cadence” and “Equipment Considerations”. They also publish a monthly magazine with some great articles regarding water safety & research in the field if you’d like to subscribe. If you’re considering a certification, I highly recommend their Aquatic Fitness Professional cert. I really hope this is helpful! Feel free to contact me through my profile if you’d like to discuss this or any other topic further.
It depends on the goal. Same as on land. Reps taken to temporary muscle failure in 8-12 reps is strength training. Higher reps it becomes more of an endurance training exercise. The responses by Sara and Marc are right on. Different modalities, varying the equipment, all great, but the basics of muscle overload are the same on land or in the water.
Hmmm. Interesting answers, but a little short of fully comprehending the subject. The majority of aquatic exercise classes are more like land aerobic exercise classes (step, spin, etc.) than resistance training. The repetitions are more for aerobic challenge of the cardiovascular system than for the three most popular modes of resistance training (endurance, hypertrophy, strength). Aquatic exercise can be in one of these modes for deconditioned individuals, so you should know your clientel.
But aquatic exercise can be used for resistance training if you know what you are doing and how to use the properties of water to your advantage. I do teach this as a CEC course. But it is far too involved to attempt to explain it here. And besides, it is how I make part of my income. So, I don’t give it away.