The 70’s introduced the Jane Fonda fitness era with choreographed routines and everyone moved at the same pace with the same routine. This was very much the start of our group fitness programming with music and this was a wonderful way the industry began.
Generally speaking, most instructors needed to do this style of training for three reasons
1) most didn’t understand the science behind exercise
2) we didn’t know any better
3) there wasn’t a lot of supporting research on the best way to exercise and burn calories.
Sometimes trends seem to circle back and in this case it may be a regression on the industry. “Canned” programs are ready to go and the instructor may not have to think or give direction.
The patrons complete the same routine for a month (sometimes more) and everyone becomes comfortable. However, is this really effective and safe?
Repeating the same speed, number of repetitions for each exercise yields and assuming that all exercise environments are the same – may really limit our results as well as decrease our standard of care.
In many instances, routines or tightly choreographed movements will under train some individuals in that group while others may be over trained or compromised.
Here are some of the reasons that WaterART does not advocate a one size fits all or pre-choreographed approach either on land or in the water.
When designing a fitness program for group exercise, the instructor should provide a planned approach for a balanced program design. However, realize that there are many health histories, skills, goals and types of programs as well as equipment and environment variables.
Allow people to progress to challenge and benefit their fitness goals. Offer modifications or adaptations to protect them from undue injury and pain or discomfort. Let people decide how they feel each workout in terms of rate of perceived exertion or effort as well as pain and goals. Ideally, offering a variety of movement speeds, equipment choices, fitness goals and work preferences will provide more results over time.
The goal of every program is to offer a variety of exercises tailored to the objectives of the participants. Being able to critically understand the exercise choices for each condition or population is imperative for the participants’ success and benefit.
An instructor should be able to understand clearly “why“ he/she is including specific exercises in each program and decide how they may be performed safely and effectively.
The instructor should be able to answer the following questions when developing exercise design.
- Who is the exercise program for? Mixed group – ages genders? Or specific group – athletes – seniors etc ?
- What is the purpose of the exercise program? High Intensity, Low cardio, Interval, Stretch and relax?
- Are the planned movements biomechanically safe? Effective? Functional?
- What skills do the participants have or need to learn?
- Are the movements appropriate for the skill and fitness level of the clientele?
6 What, if any, equipment is required to progress or adapt the program?
For a Water Exercise Program
For a Land Exercise Program:
Is the music suitable for the program?
Is the floor clean, free of clutter, sufficient space for choreographed moves?