The Superiority of Water as a Training Environment and Multiplex Gym
Aquatic Exercise Tip 2
If you have ever yearned to fly through the air with the greatest of ease, a daring (mature person) on the flying trapeze—but are afraid of falling, then then suspended, vertical aquatic work is the workout for you! Suspended aquatic fitness classes, done properly, focus upon strength and endurance training; cardio-respiratory improvement; flexibility, balance, coordination and stabilization; and tightening weak and loose muscles while relaxing and stretching muscles that are too tight already; and boosting metabolism. Suspended water work, with the correct, safe positioning of hands and proper joint angles of your limbs/levers, train all the muscles, even those you ceased to use decades ago and which have lapsed, causing bent and stooped posture, forward head syndrome, and clenched pectorals which round your shoulders and curl them inward. Suspended exercises in transitional to deep water levels, can utilize hard, closed cell noodles as buoyancy and resistance and stabilizing aides similarly to a trapeze or gymnastics bar to stretch, train, condition, and oxygenate the muscles, joints and cardio-vascular system without putting pressure on joints. And guess what? You can’t fall down! The buoyancy lifts you right back up. The first thing we teach is how to use recovery-to-stand moves as dynamic exercises in themselves.
The use of large, octagonal-grip, closed cell, heavy buoyancy noodles while suspending in water, or with feet able to touch the pool floor but trying not to, improves every component of fitness. Their use in core, postural, and abdominal and gluteal muscle strengthening and joint flexibility is unparalleled by any exercise done on land and in gravity except those that maximize the work against gravity by suspending in air, as in gymnastics, acrobatics and especially trapeze work. The synergistic integration of breath and form maximizes the exercise benefit and pumps the metabolic, respiratory and cardio-vascular systems as you work with and against hydrostatic pressure and buoyancy. Water produces a 12% to 44% increase in resistance—i.e., strengthening and endurance–as opposed to exercise done on land: But only, like every other exercise, if performed properly and with some precision.
Vertical water work, done according to the principles of exercise science adapted to the buoyancy of water (opposite to work in gravity on land), is the superior environment for re balancing your muscles so that opposing muscle groups achieve a kind of equipoise, the agonists no stronger than the antagonists, which protects you against falls and accidents and improves your sports performance and activities of daily living. It is difficult to target one single muscle group in water, as all the supporting muscles and the core muscles will be recruited as well to huge exercise benefit. To do these properly, the abdominal, back, and gluteal muscles will be also called upon to work when the abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis and transverse abdominis and obliques) are in rest phase. Vertical water work can be particularly beneficial to athletes—tennis players and golfers and bowlers and other one-sided sports especially—as these aquatic exercises counteract the imbalance between muscles that are tight and overused and muscles that are underused, loose and weak, all the while using the hydrostatic pressure of the water as an cardio booster pump to increase circulation and oxygenation.
Dr. Lucia Cordell Getsi
Master Trainer, Water Art Fitness International