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Long before aqua tools like dumbbells and noodles were available to use in classes, there existed only one floatation aid that was a staple in every pool – the kick board. Used to assist swimmers with technique and to develop lower body power, the kick board made its way into the aqua class as instructors looked for ways to aid suspension exercises and create resistance in the water.

The number of exercises was somewhat limited, as the kick board did not have handles, required considerable strength to be pushed through the water, and caused shoulders and fingers to fatigue quickly with both suspended and resisted exercises. New tools became available that were much more flexible with movement in water and provided options that the kick board couldn't, and so it was increasingly left in the store room during classes.

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Back to basics-Water quality and skin irritation by J. Kevin Tucker

Recently, I was speaking with a commercial pool owner. He told me that he had a purple color on the walls of his pool. With just a couple of questions, I could determine the problem. I also suggested a simple way to remove the color from the pool. However, the basis for the problem was a bit different- it's back to the basics of water chemistry to find a viable long term solution to the problem.

The situation is the same with skin irritation in pools and spas. If you simply want to reduce the skin irritation symptoms, I'm sure that there are a wide variety of lotions and oils readily available for your skin. However, if you want to look into the actual cause, then we need to go back to the basics of water chemistry.

There are many courses available (check with NSPF at and hundreds of books. So this will be a short look into the most common causes of skin irritation caused by water quality-and the solutions.

In this simplified view there are probably 4 primary likely causes for skin irritation:1) Chlorine/bromine related.2) pH related.3) Bacterial rashes.4) Overuse.

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Splash Dance

Do you like to dance?

Dance is the movement interpretation of music. Most instructors would say ‘Yes’, because we often use exercise as a movement interpretation of music, and perhaps that is why we are drawn to this form of exercise.

Do you find yourself dancing, or bopping to the beat, or at least tempted to during a class?

News flash! – Don’t hold back! Often what you desire to do will also be what the participants crave to do as well.

Music, Music, Music!

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The Chocolate Box 2

One of the challenges that face many aqua instructors is the ability to create new moves, new choreography and creative ways to use water. Water provides a unique exercise environment that allows for movement that is not possible on land. Faced with this wonderful opportunity, why is it that we want to stay with tried and true exercises?

  • Comfort zone – we know what works, so it is easier to stay with exercise well tested over time
  • Member pressure – if we tried something once and it was less than successful, some of us are too intimidated to try again
  • Lack of opportunity to experiment ourselves – not making or justifying the time to spend in the pool to explore different ways to move water
  • No pressure – if our members and managers don't demand variety, then why go to the effort

Any one or a combination of these reasons maybe why some instructors find it easier to stay with moves that they have ‘always done' in the past. It begs the question – is that you? Where do you see yourself in 12 months time – the same as where you are now, or an instructor that consistently inspires classes with exciting, new and challenging workouts that members never get bored with.

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Deeply Moving ver.2

Deep water training has grown in popularity over the past 15 years. Athletes and sporting groups are appreciating the benefits of both sports specific training and recovery in deep water. Certainly for the general public, it has been a fitness option that has grown steadily.

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Hydro Worx

Aqua is becoming a very popular form of exercise, and as a result, aqua instructors are continually searching for the newest or latest, or most cutting edge aqua moves.

The irony is, we often end up sticking to comfortable and familiar exercises and formats. Using tried and true moves that have tested well over time provides an excellent foundation but in accordance to the theory of muscle adaptation, it does not prove to be an effective method of progressing client's fitness levels. Adding elements of variation to “comfort moves”, will create new stimulus which will in turn provide different challenges to the body. By assessing favourite moves and applying the following five basic concepts, practically every exercise can be revamped.


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Wet Force

How can dumbbells and noodles be used for deep water exercise?


Dumbbells and noodles are popular aquatic tools, predominately in shallow water, for resistance, turbulence and buoyancy type exercises. But can they be used effectively for a deep water class? These two pieces of equipment can suspend the body very effectively, so yes, it is possible to consider utilising them for deep water training. There are several advantages for this type of training:

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Cutting Edge

Co written with Tim O'Connell

As aqua instructors, the ability to be versatile with little or no equipment is to be commended. In recent years, however, aquatic tools like dumbbells, noodles, buoyancy belts and tubing have gained popularity in aqua classes all over Australia, which makes our job slightly easier to continually provide innovative and effective workouts.

OKEO is an Italian company that has recently developed aqua tools that use unique hydrodynamic principles. Following is a preview of four of their new tools and their role and effectiveness with different movement patterns.

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