Choosing Aquatic Exercise There is no mistaking the fact that physical activity improves your quality of life. When you work out, it improves your mood and keeps your body healthy. But when most people think of physical exercise they tend to be landlocked. When people think of land-based exercises only, it can cause a mental block that prevents them from exercising at all. This is problematic because some people may have their quality of life drastically improved with aquatic exercise. Aquatic exercises, such as Poolates, can have extremely beneficial effects on both the body and state-of-mind. Aquatic exercise increases the intensity of each exercise due to the water increasing resistance to movement over 300 times compared to air. However, despite the increased intensity, it is easier on the joints due to the water’s buoyancy. Aquatic exercises are so effective that they have been studied in the treatment of ailments such as Osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia, and Cerebral Palsy. Benefits of Aquatic Exercise Osteoarthritis – Through multiple trials with 800 participants, aquatic exercises have been proven to be more effective than land-based exercises for knee and hip osteoarthritis. There were six studies conducted with four producing minor, yet positive, results. These studied showed a positive effect on quality of life, an increase in function, and a small percentage with absolute reduction. The studies that yielded no positive results also didn’t yield negative results, rather, they were inconclusive. While these results are small, it is important to note that these are people that would be negatively impacted by land-based exercises. Fibromyalgia – This test utilizes deep-water running, showing that an aquatic exercise is an option for patients who have problems adapting to land-based-exercises. Fibromyalgia, when it affects the lower limbs, can make land-based exercises unbearable. Aquatic exercises and their relieving effect on joints not only made exercise a viable option again, but was also linked to drastically increasing the patient’s mood positively. Cerebral Palsy in Children – Young people with cerebral palsy have problems with land-based exercises. When aquatic exercises were studied they were proven to work as a functional form of therapy. The aquatic exercises improved muscle strength, cardiovascular function, and motor skill performance. Once again, the effects of the water also reduced the risks associated with the joints and allowed them to engage in more intense exercises than they would be able to perform on land. Poolates Poolates is one of the most exciting aquatic exercises methods available. By combining the principles of Pilates such as centering, control, and precision and adding the joint-relieving and resistance element of the water, Poolates is a true synergy of land and water based exercise.. If you are a beginner looking into aquatic exercise or an expert looking to add Poolates to their routine, call us today at (920) 535-0504 or e-mail me at email@example.com.
What is Poolates? Easily the most asked question for any Poolates instructor. Unfortunately, “Pilates in the pool” is often not enough of an answer! So to best respond to the question let’s break it down for you. First up What is Pilates? Pilates is an exercise method developed by Joseph Pilates. Focusing on a limited number of repetitions executed with proper form, it is an incredibly popular exercise method in America with over 10 million practitioners. Core body focused, Pilates builds strength without building bulk, increases flexibility and improves balance. Why Pilates in the water? Taking the principles of Pilates; control, precision, awareness, concentration, efficiency of movement and fluidity of movement into the water allows us to add two more factors to the Pilates workout equation, buoyancy and resistance. Water has seven times the resistance of air and increased resistance builds muscle. Feeling the water on your skin also increases spatial awareness. Buoyancy increases exercise difficulty in Poolates, the more buoyant you are the harder the core has to work to stabilize the body while moving. In addition, being in the pool allows us to move more three dimensionally. When executing the hundred on land, the back muscles do not have to work very hard as they are being supported by the floor, in fifty fifty, the Poolates version of the hundred, the whole core i.e, the entire torso from chin to pubis front and back, is engaged through the entire exercise sequence, working hard to maintain stability and balance. The pool also functions as a piece of Pilates apparatus, depth changes, walls and steps can all be used to increase or decrease exercise difficulty, in addition warm water increases muscle flexiblilty and improves the flow of synovial fluid around the joints while reducing exercise stress on the muscles and joints. Poolates, even more than Pilates can be modified to suit any exercise population from the most fit to the most challenged and is an especially good way for the deconditioned participant; obese, medically challenged or just out of shape, to safely and effectively work their way back into shape in a safe and fun environment. For more information about Poolates, check out our videos on this website or go to the store and order one of our DVD’s. Even more questions? shoot me an email at lgibson @poolates.com or call me at 920 535 0504. Until next time cheers, Lisa
Poolates, is a terrific way to get your blood and the fluids around your joints flowing. Exercising in the water is easier on your joints, but you’ll also be exerting more effort because the water has three hundred times the resistance of your air. This summer why not take your exercise routine into the water? If you’re willing to change up your routine and are looking for a fun summer, indoor/outdoor workout in the water try some of our recommended exercises: Poolates Squats Squats are highly effective for your leg muscles, buttocks and most importantly your core. To start, stand in the shallow end of the pool with your feet shoulder width apart on a kickboard. Hold your arms out in front of you at shoulder level to help with your balance. Now, while you hold the kickboard in place with your feet, squat down until your thighs are parallel with the bottom of the pool. Hold the pose for 30 seconds and return to your starting position. This is a very advanced exercise so be careful! Planks Planks are a highly effective core workout even in the water. Standing at the side of the pool facing the pool wall, place your hands at shoulder height on the wall, arms straight so your body is arms length away form the wall then inhale bending at the elbows, lean toward the pool wall maintaining the plank position, exhale return to the starting position. This also works arms, shoulders, chest and the Achilles tendon. The Frog The Poolates frog exercise is used to strengthen and tone the muscles in your core, back, buttocks and inner thighs. While standing in the pool with the water between waist and chest deep, stand with your feet slightly wider than hip width apart in Poolates stance, your heels are together and your toes are apart. Inhale, bending the knees and raising the heels up off the pool floor, exhale straighten the knees and drop the heels back down to the pool floor. Living Dead This Poolates workout will work your abs, waist, back and inner thighs. To begin, stand with your feet together in parallel position in about three to four feet of water. Face the deep end of the pool. Extend your arms in front of you and inhale to allow your right leg to float up until it is just below hip height with your toes pointed. Then, exhale flex your right foot and lower it to the pool floor. Since this is a movement step, you are obviously alternating legs. Think Boris Karlof in the Mummy; upper body remains still and in a neutral spine position. There are over fifty exercises in Poolates Basic alone for more information please go to our website www.poolates.com.
I am very excited that Speedo is getting into the realm of aquatic fitness, I am not excited about the high-intensity focus they have chosen. Why is it we are always getting messages that we have to work out till we puke( or drown!) that it is not a real workout unless we are so sore that we can barely walk the next day. It’s not that I am against high-intensity workouts, I am however sad that moderate intensity exercise systems do not receive the same amount of press, even though they can be just as effective and far less damaging to the body. How Can Water be Used for a Great Workout? The pool is a fabulous place to work out, you are using the resistance of the water, you are working three dimensionally, and water helps alleviate stress on muscles and joints. This is why the pool is used so much for rehabilitation purposes and is a great benefit for people with arthritis or other conditions which inhibit their ability to do land-based workouts. But that doesn’t mean the pool is just for the injured or the challenged. The pool is an incredible environment for the fit as well. Thus my appreciation for Speedo getting into aquatic workouts and my concern looking at pictures of people walking weighted at the bottom of the pool. Poolates is Beneficial for Everyone Poolates, like Pilates, focuses on the process of improving. We are not the kick some ass, work until you drop system. We build strength and increase balance and flexibility in a three-dimensional, biomechanically correct and safe manner, building on previous sessions and successes. I can have an 85-year-old balance challenged senior and a 500 hour yogi in the same class and they will both get a great workout and have fun doing it! So as we come into the summer season, jump into the pool, regardless of the workout you enjoy. I am off to Orlando to teach Poolates at Florida Mania. For more information about Poolates visit our website www.poolates.com. Until next time!
Poolates takes the principles of Pilates, control, awareness, concentration, precision, centering, fluidity and beauty of movement into the water. Poolates can be modified to suit any exercise population from the 85-year-old balanced challenged senior to a 500-hour yogini, making all of your class participants immediately successful. Poolates uses the resistance and buoyancy of water to make the core work harder while decreasing stress on the muscles and joints and provides a safe environment to challenge and improve dynamic balance. Sooooo, dynamic balance, I hear you ask, what is that? Although this gets a little involved, these definitions are really important and are a major component of Poolates work. These definitions are from the Gray Institute: Balance The three-dimensional integration of information from all of our body systems during a functional task and using that information to displace our center of gravity. To see how this works, stand up and find your center, once you feel well balanced, close your eyes and feel the difference that it makes! We are going to further refine this into static and the aforementioned dynamic balance. Static balance A state in which a body or object remains reasonably steady while resting on a base that is narrower or smaller relative to its other dimensions. A good example of this would be standing on one leg…….which we do so often in real life right?! Not! Dynamic Balance Successfully displacing one’s center of gravity for the purpose of returning back to where one started or to transfer to another direction…..in other words walking! Which we do all the time! Yet when you go to the Doctors office, and they want to check balance, how do they do it? They have you stand on one leg……essentially testing non-functional movement. Why Is Balance Important? You might ask, why is this important? Balance is one of the top two functions that decline with age and loss of balance is the number one cause of falls in the population that is 55 and up leading to broken bones, hospitalizations and nursing home admissions. Poolates trains both static and dynamic balance with an emphasis on dynamic balance and the three-dimensional integration of the core body muscles using the resistance and buoyancy of water as our Poolates equipment. Wow! That’s a mouthful! So with all of that……Poolates is fun! It is safe; it is the perfect adjunct to your aqua cardio programs, targeting a different market and maximizing the use of your pool. For more information, go to www.poolates.com or shoot an email to Lisa Gibson firstname.lastname@example.org. Till next time!
What Can We Do For Aquatic Exercise? So in the last blog post, I was lamenting the back seat status of aquatics in the exercise world, despite the fact that it may be the best place for many of our deconditioned clients to start coming back to exercise. The question that immediately comes to mind is why? Is it marketing? Is it perception? Is it as Lawrence Biscontini points out our “propensity for intensity” in the exercise world? More to the point, what can we do to bring aquatics to the forefront of the fitness world? Educating the Public About Aquatic Exercise The short answer is.. I don’t know. What can we do as aquatic fitness professionals to educate the public and other professionals about the benefits of water-based exercise in any form, cardio based, mind-body oriented, or post rehabilitation? Clients coming off rehab protocols for heart attacks, obese, and arthritic clients all benefit from being in the pool. I would love to start hearing thoughts and ideas about what you think the perceptions of aquatics are, what the challenges are, how we can change, improve those perceptions, surmount those challenges, and get this work out to more of the people who can benefit from the proven results of movement in the water.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the fastest growing exercise population in the country is 55 and older and in ten years the fastest growing exercise group will be 85 and older. Nearly 40 % (39.5) of middle-aged adults, defined as 40-55, are classified as obese and that an additional 29.1 % of adults were classified as overweight* That is over two-thirds of the adult population of the United States and 40% of the group currently defined as the fastest growing exercise population, not just overweight, obese. The 60 and up group are not far behind, 35.4% are obese. Aquatic Exercise I am not going to get into all the medical considerations and health care costs, I want to talk about something much nearer and dearer to my heart, aquatics, as in why are we still, as a colleague of mine so elegantly put it, still the bastard stepchild of the exercise world. There are major certifying organizations that don’t even offer an aqua track at their conferences. We are taking a deconditioned population, many with medical issues that require active management and slotting them into personal training, cardio classes, group weight lifting, etc. all in the name of improving our participants overall health. Why Aquatic Exercise? WHY are we recommending aqua exercise instead? Six weeks after our middle aged/senior clients have dropped out of the land based program because they are sore, or it’s too hard or whatever. Don’t get me wrong, I love the diversity of exercise modalities available to us today, both for ourselves and our clients, but we should be putting them in the pool! All of the exercise modalities that are available on land are available in the water, with much less risk to our participants and proven strength, cardiac, pulmonary and balance building benefits. If elite athletics rehab in the pool,** why not our at-risk clients? Benefits of Pool Exercises Over Land Exercises We know that water exercise is easier on the joints than exercise on land, a crucial consideration for our overweight clients. It provides 800 times the resistance of air, provides similar strength benefits*** superior pulmonary benefits**** and is excellent cardiovascular exercise. The pool is the single most expensive piece of exercise equipment in any club or assisted living facility and one of the safest. Let’s face it if you fall in the pool, your hair gets wet; it is highly unlikely you will injure yourself, a very real consideration in land-based classes. Pushing Aquatic Exercise into the Forefront There is a wealth of aquatic programming available from Poolates® to Water in Motion® to Hydro YoChi® to AcquaPole®, yet when deconditioned clients present themselves to a club to “lose weight and get in shape” they are not being offered aquatics as a viable path to fitness, even when it is available. How do we change this? This is not a rhetorical question. We know that aquatic exercise is the best bet for many of our clients and should be the exercise of choice. How do we push aquatics to the forefront of the exercise industry? Shoot any ideas over to the Poolates® Facebook page. I am looking forward to hearing from all of you! *Ogden CL. Carrol MD, Kit BK Flegal KM Prevealence of Obesity among Adults United States 2011-2012 NCHS Data brief 131 2013 ** Experience Life *** Len Kravitz Ph.D. JJ Mayo Ph.D. Physiological Effects of Aquatic Exercise **** Andrea Salzman PT MS
Aquatic Exercise for Water Rehabilitation Using water for rehabilitative purposes can be extremely beneficial after suffering from an injury. It can take away all the negative and painful aspects of exercising on dry land. The buoyancy of water helps you exercise and rehabilitate without putting your body through strain. Using water for rehabilitation and exercise gives you the ability to maintain fitness levels and helps you recover from a past injury. You should always consult your doctor before starting any rehabilitation exercises. Walking Doing something as simple as walking in water, chest high Doing something as simple as walking in water, chest high, can help you maintain fitness levels without putting your body through strenuous exercise. Doing so while injured is also ideal to get back into shape after your injury. Walking in water can be helped to treat different spine injuries as well as arthritis. You can also try to walk forwards and backwards for conditioning without putting stress on your joints. If you really want to challenge your body, you can try using weight and even swinging your arms as you walk. The ideal amount of time to spend on this exercise daily is between 20 to 30 minutes. Shoulder Flexion and Abduction To help build range of motion in your shoulders To help build range of motion in your shoulders, you can perform several arm reaches. To do this, have the water reach shoulder level. Then, for flexion, lift your arm out of the water as high as you can, after reaching the top of your range, bring your arms back slowly into the water and repeat. One set should comprise of 10 repetitions. After, for abduction, put your arms to your sides and raise your arms up slowly, having your palms down and away from the body. Bring your arms up to shoulder level, then lower your arms and repeat. This exercise is also ten repetitions for one set. Leg Raises Leg raises can help you strengthen muscles in your lower back Leg raises can help you strengthen muscles in your lower back, hips, and your legs. You should perform this exercise by grasping the side of the pool. To perform this exercise on your right leg, stand in the pool with your left side facing the wall in the pool. After getting into position, use your left hand and hold that side of the pool. When doing this, you should bend your knees slightly. When in position, slowly star swinging your right leg to the side. Once it is at the side, hold it there for a few moments. Lower your leg and then repeat the process. One set is comprised of ten repetitions. Do the same with your other leg. Superman. The superman exercise The superman exercise helps to stretch out your back and shoulder muscles. To begin this exercise, get into the water and make sure it is chest deep. Grasp the side of the pool with both of your hands. Make sure that your feet are planted to the bottom of the pool. After, push your feet from the bottom of the pool slowly. Your body should now be floating on the water. Now, try extending your arms so that the elbows are straightened out. Make sure your legs are also extended. As the name of the exercise indicates, you should resemble Superman at this point. Hold the pose for ten to twenty seconds. After holding the pose, bring yourself back to the original position. One set consists of five repetitions.