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By Teresa Roberts, Masterpiece Fitness
The modern gym of the future is the swimming pool. For most folks it is a new concept to consider personal training in the pool. Though I do not make a personal training session mandatory for my classes, I do highly recommend them for various reasons. Unless you have a background of water experience, you need to be taught the properties of water and how to use them.
These properties include buoyancy, resistance, water depth, inertia, balance, and action/reaction and travel. I take each property and explain it with demonstrations. I am a visual learner and am sympathetic to those of us who need to see what is being explained. You need to know how to make the water work for you.
A top priority in any exercise program is safety. Knowledge and understanding of what to do and not to do ensures your safety and enables you to get the most from your program. With personal training, the trainer can answer any questions you might have and observe you while implementing instruction. I am adamant on good form and posture while performing in the water or on land. As most experienced athletes know, form is everything. As I teach a client basic water moves I make sure they are performing the moves correctly. It is extremely difficult to undo improper form once it has become a habit.
As you can see these are issues that cannot be resolved nearly as effectively in a class format verses personal training sessions. Personal training is exactly what it says, personal. Whether you need a program designed specifically for your individual needs or are preparing to start a water class, it is worth the investment. Most clients only require one session prior to beginning a water class. When designing a program for an individual, sessions vary according to the client’s goals and health issues. I aggressively try to instruct, educate, and equip my clients for independence unless they request otherwise.
Aquatic fitness is an exercise modality that can accommodate all ages, fitness levels, and abilities through a variety of programming options. One way we do this is through specialized water programs such as Pilates in water, Body Conditioning, Kick Boxing, Circuit Training, Interval Training, Sports Training, Sports Conditioning, Weight Control, Senior Fitness and the list goes on. The fact is water offers the special properties to meet all the varying needs!
For example it can support and alleviate pressure on the joints. For the older adult this presents a way to exercise that provides welcome relief from arthritis, allowing them access to effective resistance and cardiovascular training. Along with this group are a growing number of fit seniors who must consider stress on their joints. I can still give them a challenging work out and maintain their fitness level in water. The fifty plus bracket, which represents the baby boomers, are looking for specific qualities in their work outs. One of the top considerations is stress on the joints. It isn’t that this population is unfit. Many are still running marathons, but due to Father Time, they have developed joint issues. They want the effect that land based sessions provided in the past with more support for their knees, ankles, hips and shoulder joints.
In addition there is a growing number of over-weight and obese people. This group needs encouragement to exercise. The pool affords a wonderful way to move with freedom and support through the unique buoyancy factor of water. Their sessions need to integrate balance, stability, and body awareness as well as toning and cardiovascular training. The pool can serve as a water weight room, matched with an inspiring aerobic workout, all catered to give the larger person a less intimidating arena to work out in. This wonderful arena has no mirrors; the water covers the body while delivering freedom to move against resistance, one of the great properties to make exercise accessible, fun, and effective!
From this limited information and examples I think you can see why aquatic exercise, especially personal training, proves to be the fastest growing trend in the fitness industry. Research has shown that water exercise is by far the safest, most effective way to exercise. Lastly, water gives you a feeling of playfulness and is fun. Whether personal training or participating in a class, Masterpiece Fitness invites you to take the plunge, and enter the gym of the future, the water!
Teresa Roberts is owner of Masterpiece Fitness, and a Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, WaterArt Instructor, Water Rehabilitation Specialist, Sports Conditioning Specialist, and Cancer Exercise Specialist. Please check out her website @ masterpiecefitness.com. Find Masterpiece Fitness on Facebook. For questions, comments, or appointments, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 276-236-8748, (cell) 276-237-6680.