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Exercise Safety & Technique Guidelines

Ideally, all patrons/clients should be able to see, hear & understand the exercise instructions in terms of purpose, safety and technique. WaterART realizes the challenge of facilitating pool programs. The conditions may be anything but perfect. Some times things such as the control of water and air temperature, water depth(s), pool ventilation, space for patrons, as well as acoustics may be very difficult to develop “perfect” programs. We have put together a few teaching tips and guidelines so that you may become more successful and safe with your aquatic fitness programs.

1. Execute movements in good posture in form as an instructor –be a good model.   

2. Cue a neutral spinal alignment with each class –show a body check.

3. Work within your own body’s limits – teach for long term – and injury prevention.

4. When cueing movements from the deck, utilize approximate water speed of the movements ( i.e. approximately ½-1/3 the speed)

5. Demonstrate the “start position” of the exercise when showing a movement pattern.

6. Demonstrate the “end position” of the exercise when showing a movement pattern.

7. Show the “water” like movement if teaching or cueing on deck.

8. Do about 2-6 demonstrations of each exercise, then coach & supervise the class. You need not demonstrate every movement at full intensity.

9. Do not flail the arms in and out of the water. Keep arms submerged and protected against shoulder and neck overuse injuries.

10. Do not twist or torque the knees. Cue the hips, knees, and toes in a alignment parallel.

11. Do not jump or demonstrate unsafe movements on deck. There is no protection on concrete or slippery tiles.

12. Utilize a chair or bench to better illustrate deck or suspended moves / under the water movements.

13. Cue all working positions (not just the high intensity or a bouncing movement style) Realize rebounding moves still have 50-25% of the vertical stress in shallow water.

14. For muscular strengthening perform at least 1-2 sets of 8-25 repetitions or till muscle fatigue.

15. For muscular endurance perform at least 3-5 sets of 8-25 repetitions for optimal benefits.

16. For Cardiovascular endurance do at least 3-5 sets of 3-5 minutes of a varied intensity (low, moderate and high) utilizing primarily rhythmical lower body movements changing the muscles prior to fatigue.

17. Utilize active flexibility if the water temperature is cool or at the beginning of the program

18. Utilize more static stretching when the water temperature warm or at the end of the class ( and the patrons are still warm)

19. Utilize intervals of muscle strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, balance, posture and cardiovascular sets for optimal performance training. In other words, all of the components of fitness are valuable in a program.

20. State the purpose of the exercise when training. All components are important yet unique to train.

21. All instructors should provide a 5-10 minute buoyancy and cardiovascular warm up to prepare the heart, lungs and joints for the exercise to come. Included in the warm up should be a review of basic water skills as well as balance and posture training re-training ( as the person has come from land to water)

22. All instructors should provide at least a 5-10 minute warm down or cool down to prepare the participant back to land and to gradually bring the heart rate down.

23. Instructors may choose to teach from the deck or the pool or a combination of both.

24. We recommend not teaching from the deck (the entire class) especially if the humidity is hazardous to the instructors well-being.

25. Be aware of voice injury and yelling. Utilize visual cueing and a microphone amplifier ( on deck) if possible. If the noise is overwhelming, start the introduction on deck in a quiet place ( prior to getting in the pool & exercising)

26. If patrons are disruptive or working beyond their skills and fitness level, the instructor should politely address this issue. The instructor or facility coordinator may have to ask the talkative person to leave the program or suggest that they come during public swim ( where they may talk all the time) . Should the patron not be attending a suitable program ( if it is obviously beyond their skills in terms of a non-swimmer or medical conditions) they should recommend an orientation class or less

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